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LIBERIA 



FRFJIE'-IC: STA1« 




on War, Revolution, and Peace 



"»> 



^jT, 






LIBERIA 

DESCRIPTION 

HISTORY 

PROBLEMS 



BT 

FREDERICK STARR 





Ay 
CHICAGO 
1013 



i 



t^^ 



^■^ 



cyo 



I 



CoPyRICHTTBD, 1913 

By FREDERICK STARR 
CHICAGO 



THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO 

WILLIAM N. SELIG 

OF CHICAGO 

IN EVIDBNCB OP APPRECIATION AND AS 
A TOKEN OF REGARD 



PREFACE 

Africa has been partitioned among the nations. The 
little kingdom of Abyssinia, in the north, and the Re- 
public of Liberia, npon the west coast, are all of the 
continent that remain in the hands of Africans. Id- 
beria alone is in the hands of negroes. Will it remain 
so, or is it destined to disappear f Is it a failure t 
The reports which have so frequently been printed in 
books of travel and elementary treatises of ethnology 
appear almost unanimous in the assertion that it is. 
Yet there are those who believe that the Black Re- 
public is far indeed from being a failure. We are 
not willing to admit that its history and conditions 
warrant the assumption that the black man is inca- 
pable of conducting an independent government. A 
successful Liberia would be a star of hope to the Dark 
Continent. In Liberian success there lies African 
Redemption; redemption, not only in the religious 
sense, but redemption economic, social, governmental. 
If the black men can stand alone in Liberia, he can 
stand alone elsewhere ; if the negro is able to organize 
and maintain a government on the west coast, he can 
do the same on the east coast, and in the southern part 
of Africa. Africa is restless under the white man; 
it makes bo diflference whether the ruler be Portu- 
guese, French, Oerman, Spanish, Belgian, or English, 
the native is dissatisfied under the present regime. It 
is recognized that a spark may cause a conflagration 
through negro Africa. On the other hand, the colonial 
burden of the European governments grows heavy; 
the trade advantages of holding Africa might be 
equally gained without the expense and trouble of 
administration ; it is mutual jealousy, not great sue- 



VI PREFACE. 

cess, which holds the European powers in Africa. 
Were each convinced that withdrawal would not give 
advantage to other powers, that abdication would not 
be recognized as weakness, that free trade with black 
men might not result in individual national advan- 
tage, they would be quite ready to withdraw from the 
Dark Continent. In every colony the native is ad- 
vancing; education becomes more general; it must 
continue to diffuse itself, and with diffusion of knowl- 
edge among the natives, restlessness will be increased ; 
the colonial burden will become heavier, — not lighter. 
If Liberia prospers, it will stand as an example of 
what black men can do to all the other negro popula- 
tions of the continent; its example would stimulate 
advance for all; the sight of enterprises originating 
with negroes and carried out by them would give 
heart and stimulus to negroes everywhere. This does 
not mean that all the European colonies should neces- 
sarily become republics; far from it. Nor would it 
mean, unless the home governments were blind and 
ignorant, a necessary severance between the mother 
country and its colonies; it would, however, lead to 
ia great measure of home rule and to a large develop- 
ment of self-government. Wauwermans, years ago, 
recognized the powerful influence which a successful 
Liberia must needs exert. He says: '*From this little 
state, the size of Belgium, whose population does not 
surpass, including the natives, a fifth part of the pop- 
ulation of our country, will go forth perhaps some 
day the best imaginable missionaries to extend 
over the Black Continent the benefits of civiliza- 
tion and to found the free United States of Africa, 
sufficiently powerful to defy the covetousness of white 
men and to make justice reign, so far as it can reign 
among men." 

One of the most thoughtful writers regarding the 
Republic is Delafosse who, for a time, was French 
Consul at Monrovia. He has written upon Liberia on 
various occasions, and what he says always deserves 
consideration. On the whole he is not a hostile critic. 



PBEPACE. Vll 

having a rather friendly feeling toward Liberians and 
being deeply interested in the Republic. We trans- 
late some passages from his writings, as his point of 
view is original. He says: ^^If one consider the 
Liberians superficially — civilized, clad, knowing how 
to read and write, Uving in relatively comfortable 
houses, — one will probably hnd them superior to the 
natives. Actually, they are rather inferior to them, 
as well from the moral point of view as from the point 
of view of general well-being," 

Further on he says: ''First, along the coast and in 
the east, we see the Krumen, a race of workers, ener- 
getic, proud, and fighters, but honest, rejoicing in a 
fine physical and moral health, jealous of the virtue of 
their women, of a most careful cleanliness. What a 
contrast do they make by the side of the idle and non- 
chalant Liberians, expecting everything from the 
State, subject to every kind of congenital disease, and 
in particular to tuberculosis, never washing them- 
selves, nourishing themselves with food which a native 
slave would not accept, decimated by a considerable 
mortality, having generally very few children, of 
whom, moreover, the greater part are bom scrawny, 
weak, devoted beforehand to an early death ! 

If we cast our eyes upon the natives of the west and 
north, the Yai and other tribes of the Mandingo race, 
it is a different grade of comparison which offers it- 
self to us, but always to the disadvantage of the Libe- 
rians. These natives half islamized, have, much more 
than the Liberians, the sentiment of human dignity, 
and their costume, fitted to the climate and the race, 
far from rendering them ridiculous, as the European 
does the Liberians, is not devoid of a certain aesthetic 
character. They have, the Vai and the Manienka, 
above all, a superior intelligence of commercial affairs. 
The Vai have even a self -civilization which makes this 
little tribe one of the most interesting peoples of 
Africa; alone, of all the negroes known, they possess 
an alphabet suited to the writing of their language, 
and this alphabet, which they have completely in- 



VUl PREFACE. 

vented themselves, has no relationship with any other 
known alphabet. A Yai native named Momolu Mas- 
saquoi has just established at Ghendimah, not far 
from the Anglo-Liberian boundary, a sort of model 
village, and in this village, a school where he proposes 
to teach the language and the literature of his coun- 
try. I do not know what is the result of this attempt, 
but it seems to me interesting, being an attempt purely 
indigenous in character toward perfectment, at- 
tempted alongside of the effort toward perf ectionment 
by adaptation of £uroi>ean civilization which has so 
badly succeeded in Liberia." 

Again, after having given an attractive description 
of the first impression made upon the stranger by 
Liberia and its inhabitants, our author proceeds to 
say: **Now, the spectacle which offers itself to the 
eyes of the visitor is less beautiful. It is the spec- 
tacle of a nation in decadence. And this fact of a 
nation not yet a century old which, starting from 
nothing, raised itself in twenty years to its apogee, 
and has commenced, at the end of barely sixty years, 
to fall into decay, this fact, I say, deserves that one 
should pause, for at first sight it is not natural. And 
it can only find its explanation in the theory which 
I attempt to develop here, to wit : That the negroes 
in general, and the Liberians in particular, are emi- 
nently susceptible of perfectionment and progress, 
but that this perfectionment and this progress are 
destined to a sudden check, and even to a prompt 
decadence, if one has sought to orient them in the 
direction of our European civilization. 

I have said that the spectacle which offers itself 
today to the eyes of the visitor is that of a nation in 
decadence. In fact, the beautiful broad streets cut 
at the beginning still exist, but they are invaded by 
vegetation and guttered by deep gullies which the 
rains have cut and which one does not trouble to 
fill up ; the enclosing walls about the different prop- 
erties are half destroyed, without any one's seeking 
to repair them; a mass of houses in ruin take away 



PBEFAOB. IZ 

from the (smiling and attractive aspect of the city; 
even honges in process of construction are in ruins; 
a superb college building erected at great expense 
upon the summit of the cai>e, is abandoned, and^ne 
permits it to be invaded by the forest and weathered 
by the rain; the stairway which leads to the upper 
story of Representatives' Hall, having crumbled, has 
never be^i reconstructed, and a sort of provisional 
flight of steps has been for years back the only means 
of access which permits the cabinet officers to enter 
their offices; the landings waste away stone by stone, 
and it is difficult to draw boats up to them ; the shops 
where one formerly constructed vessels and landing- 
boats, have disappeared; roads, from lack of care, 
have almost everywhere become native trails again; 
the plantations of sugar-cane and ginger are matters 
of ancient history, and fields, which formerly were 
well cultivated, have returned, to the state of virgin 
f<H*est; coffee plantations have run wild, choked by 
the rank vegetation of the tropics. The level of in- 
struction has lowered, tiie new generations receive 
only an education of primary grade ; of the University 
of Monrovia tiiere remains only the name and some 
mortarboard caps which one at times sees upon the 
heads of professors and candidates. 

All, however, is not dead in the Republic. There 
is yet a nucleus of Liberians of the ancient time, 
remarkably instructed and civilized, excellent orators, 
fine conversationalists, writers of talent. There are 
also among the young people some choice minds, who 
desire to elevate the intellectual and moral level of 
their country and who seek to do so by published 
articles, by lectures, by literary clubs, and by new 
scho<ds.'' 

There is much food for thought in these state- 
ments of Delaf esse. Some of his arraignment is true ; 
on the whole, it is less true to-day than when he wrote. 
There was a period when the Liberians were quite 
discouraged and things were neglected. Much of this 
ne^ect still exists. It would be possible to-day to 



ja .PREFACE. 

find houses falling to ruins, crumbling walls, guttered 
streets, unsatisfactory landing-places. But a new 
energy is rising; the eflfects of efforts put forth by 
the^ nucleus which Delafosse himself recognizes as 
existing in Liberia are being felt; contact with the 
outside world mth its stimulus, sympathies, and 
friendships, warrants the hope that the future 
Liberia will surpass the past. We make no attempt 
to answer Delafosse in detail; in the body of our 
book most of the questions raised by his remarks are 
discussed with some fullness. 

Li this book we attempt to represent the negro 
republic as it is — ^Description, History, Problems. We 
have desired to paint a just picture ; some may think 
it too favorable; to such we would say that, when 
there have been so many unfair, unjust, and biased 
statements, it is necessary that some one should say 
things that are favora][)le, so that they be true. We 
have no right to demand more from Liberia than we 
would expect from any white colony with everything 
in its favor ; yet that is precisely what everybody does. 
We demand perfection. We forget that perfection 
is not yet attained in any country, among people of 
any color. It is unreasonable to demand it in a small 
African republic of black men. There is no fairness 
even in comparing Liberia with English and French 
colonies like Sierra Leone and Senegal. They have 
had much done for thetm. The financial resources, 
the trained forces, the wise judgment of rich and 
powerful nations have aided them. Liberia has 
worked alone, blindly, in poverty. 

While to some we may seem to paint an unduly 
favorable picture, it is probable that Liberians will 
claim that we have dragged some things to light which 
should be left unmentioned. We have mentioned 
many of the weaknesses of Liberia and her people. 
This has been done for several reasons. It is a good 
thing to *'see ourselves as others see us"; the weak 
points of Liberia are always emphasized by critics, 
they can not well be ignored by friends. If we are to 



PREFACE. XI 

improve, we must clearly realize the opportunity and 
necessity for improvement. The worst things, after 
ally about Liberia are largely inherent in its form of 
government, or are due to the descent of the Americo- 
Liberians from American slaves. They must fight 
against these inherent dangers and tendencies of demo- 
cratic government and against the disadvantages of 
American inheritance, as we do. 

From time to time, in reading, we have gathered a 
considerable number of quotations from Liberians, 
past and present, which seem to us of special interest 
and pertinence. These we have prefaced to the chap- 
ters and sub-divisions of our book. They are all 
expressions of black men regarding their home and 
problems. Some of them are eloquent, all of them 
are sensible. Thoughtful Liberians have never been 
blind to national dangers, national weaknesses, 
national problems. 

The materials which we present have been culled 
from many sources; the book contains little that is 
absolutely new. For its preparation we have read 
double the literature which has been found mentioned 
in bibliographies and in books treating of Liberia. 
We have made constant use of Johnston, Wauwer- 
mans, Delafosse, Jore, and Stockwell. As the book 
is meant for gisneral reading, we have made no precise 
references. This is not due to neglect of writers and 
sources, but is in the nature of our treatment. We 
present no bibliography; it would be easy to fill 
pages with the titles of books and articles, dealing 
with Liberia, but such a list would be mere pedantry 
here, especially as four-fifths of the works named 
would be absolutely inaccessible even to students 
with the best library equipment at their disposition. 
The author has made a considerable collection of 
pamphlets printed in Liberia, by Liberian authors, 
dealing with Liberian matters. A list of these almost 
unknown prints would have real interest for the 
special student of Liberian affairs and for professional 



XU PBEFACE. 

librarians; such a list may perhaps be printed later, 
in separate form. 

Thanks are due to so many friends and helpers 
that it is impossible to make individual acknowledg- 
ment. We were treated with great courtesy, while 
in Liberia; from President Howard in the Executive 
Mansion to the school children u^on the village streets, 
every one was kind. It wasf generally -recognized that 
the author was a white visitor to the Republic without 
a personal axe to grind. He represented no govern- 
ment, no commission, no institution, was seeking no 
concession, had no mission — a vara avis truly. While 
it would be impossible to name all from whom kind- 
ness and courtesy were received — ^for that would be 
an enumeration of all we met — ^we may perhaps men- 
tion as particularly kind Ex-President Barclay, F. E. 
R. Johnson, T. McCants Stewart, C. B. Dunbar, 
Bishop Ferguson and Vice-President Harmon. To 
Major Charles Young, military attach^ to the Ameri- 
can Legation, we are under greater obligations than 
we can mention. Campbell Marvin was our companion 
and helper throughout our visit to the Republic, and 
gave us faithful aid in every way. We dedicate the 
book to William N Selig, of Chicago, whose kindness 
and interest made the expedition possible. 

The book is written in the hope of arousing some 
interest in Liberia and its people and of kindling 
sympathy with them in the effort they are making 
to solve their problems. For Liberia is the hope of 
the Dark Continent. Through her, perhaps, African 
Redemption is to come. 



CONTENTS 



DESCRIPTION. 

Physiography 1 

Political Geography 21 

Society 25 

GoYemment 36 

Economics 43 

HISTORY. 

1821—1828 52 

1828—1838 71 

1838—1847 80 

1847—1913 88 

PROBLEMS. 

Boundary Questions 100 

The Frontier Force 118 

Development of Trade and Transportation 131 

The Native 144 

Edncatlon 160 

immigration 185 

Public Debt and Foreign Loans 199 

Politics 210 

The Appeal to the United States 221 

REPRINT ARTICLES. 

The Liberian Crisis ( Unity, March 25, 1909) 229 

The Needs of Liberia (The Open Court, March, 1913) . . .231 
A Sojourner in Liberia (The Spirit of Missions, April, 

1913) 231 

• • • 

Xlll 



XIV CONTENTS. 

Liberia, the Hope of the Dark Continent (Uniti/, March 
20, 1913) 235 

What Liberia Needs (The Independent, April 3, 1913) . . .235 

Siionld the African Mission be Abandoned (The Spirit 
of Missions, August, 1913) 241 

The People of Liberia (The Independent, August 14, 
1913) 244 

APPENDICES. 

Leading Events in Liberian History , . .251 

Declaration of Independence in Oonvention 257 

€k)nstitution of the Republic of Liberia 261 

Suggestions to the United States 273 

Presidents and Vice-Presidents; Secretaries of State 276 

The National Hymn 277 



LIBERIA 



A more fertile soil, and a more productive country, so far 
as it is cultivated, there is not, we believe, on the face of the 
earth. Its hills and its plains are covered with a verdure which 
never fades; the productions of nature keep on in their growth 
through all the seasons of the year. Even the natives of the 
country, almost without farming tools, without skill, and with 
very little labor, raise more grain and vegetables than they can 
consume, ^and often more than they can sell. Cattle, swine, fowls, 
ducks, goats, and sheep, thrive without feeding, and require no 
other care than to keep them from straying. Cotton, coffee, 
indigo, and the sugar cane, are all the spontaneous growth of 
our forests, and may be cultivated at pleasure, to any extent, by 
such as are disposed. The same may be said of rice, Indian 
com, Guinea corn, millet, and too many species of fruits and 
vegetables to be enumerated. Add to all this, we have no dreary 
winter here, for one-half of the year to consume the produc- 
tions of the other half. Nature is constantly renewing herself, 
and constantly pouring her treasures, all the year round, into 
the laps of the industrious. — ^Address bt Liberians : 1827. 

DESCRIPTION 

Physiography — 1. There are various inherent 

difficulties in African Geography. The population 

of the Dark Continent is composed of an enorn^ous 

number of separate tribes, each with its own name, 

each with its own language. Most of these tribes are 

small and occupy but small areas. For a mountain, 

or other conspicuous natural landmark, each tribe 

will have its own name. What name is given by a 

traveler to the feature will be a matter of accident, 

depending upon the tribe among which he may be at 

the time that he inquires about the name; different 

names may thus be easily applied to the same place, 

and confusion of course results. Even within the 
1. 



2 LIBERIA. 

limits of a single tribe different names in the one 
language may be applied to the same place; thus, 
4t is regular for rivers to have different names in 
different parts of their course; it is nothing uncom- 
mon for the same river to have four or five names 
among the people of a single tribe, for this reason. 
Throughout Negro Africa, towns are generally called 
by the name of the chief; when he dies, the name 
of the town changes, that of the new chief being 
assumed. Again, throughout Africa, towns change 
location frequently ; they may be rebuilt upon almost 
the same spot as they before occupied, or they may 
be placed in distant and totally new surroundings. 
For all these reasons, it is difficult to follow the itine- 
rary of any traveler a few years after his report has 
been published. All these difficulties exist in Liberia, 
as in other parts of Africa. More than that, Liberia 
has itself been sadly neglected by explorers. Pew 
expeditions into the interior have been so reported 
as to give adequate information. Sir Harry Johnston 
says that the interior of Liberia is the '4east known 
part of Africa." 

2. Liberia is situated on the west coast of Africa, 
in the western part of what on old maps was known 
as Upper Guinea. Both Upper and Lower Guinea 
have long been frequented by European traders; 
different parts of the long coast line have received 
special names according to the natural products which 
form their characteristic feature in trade; thus we 
have the Grain Coast, Ivory Coast, Slave Coast, Gold 
Coast. Liberia is the same as the old Grain Coast 
and was so called because from it were taken the 
grains of *'Malagueta Pepper," once a notable import 
in Europe. Liberia has a coast line of some 350 
miles, from the Mano River on the west to the Caballa 
River on the east arid includes the country extending 
from 7^ 33' west to 11^ 32' west longitude, and 
from 4^ 22' north to 8^ 50' north latitude. Its area 
is approximately 43,000 square miles — a little more 
than that of the state of Ohio. 



DESCRIPTION. ' 3 

3. The coast of Liberia is for the most part low 
and singalariy uninteresting. Throughout most of its 
extent a rather narrow sandy beach is exposed to an 
almost continuous beating of surf; there is not a 
single good natural harbor ; where rivers enter the sea 
there is regularly a dangerous bar; here and there, 
ragged reefs of rocks render entrance difl5cult. There 
is no place where vessels actually attempt to make 
an entrance ; they regularly anchor at a considerable 
distance from the shore and load and unload by 
means of canoes and small boats sent out from the 
towns. At Cape Mount near the western limit of the 
country a promontory rises to a height of 1068 feet 
above the sea. It is the most striking feature of the 
whole coast. There is no other until Cape Mesurado, 
upon which the city of Monrovia stands; it is a 
notable clifp, but rises only to a height of 290 feet. 
At Bafu Point, east of the Sanguin River, there is a 
noticeable height. These three, diminishing from 
west to east, are the only three actual interruptions 
in the monotonous coast line. 

4. Five-sixths of the total area of the Republic 
is covered with a forest, dense even for the tropics. 
Almost everywhere this forest comes close down to 
the sandy beach and the impression made upon the 
traveler who sails along the coast is one of perpetual 
verdure. The highest lands are found in the east 
half of the country. In the region of the Upper 
Caballa River just outside of Liberia, French authori- 
ties claim that Mount Druple rises to a height of 
3000 meters. The same authorities claim that the 
highest point of the Nimba Mountains, which occurs 
within the limits of Liberia, is about 2000 meters 
(6560 feet). Further south is the Satro-Nidi-Kelipo 
mass of highlands bordering the Caballa basin on the 
southwest; Sir Harry Johnson claims that it offers 
nothing more than 4000 feet in height. Northeast 
of the Caballa are Gamutro and Duna which rise 
to 5000 feet. There are no heights comparable to 
these found in the western half of the Republic, 



4 LIBEBU. 

though there are peaks of significance among the 
upper waters of the St. Paul's Eiver and its tribu- 
taries. In the lower half of this river's course there 
is a hilly or mountainous region known as the Po 
Hills, where possible heights of 3000 feet may be 
reached. In the northwestern part of the country 
the forest gives way to the Mandingo Plateau, high 
grass-land. Benjamin Anderson, a Liberian explorer, 
says that he emerged from the forest at Bulota where 
the ground rose to the height of 2253 feet. This pla- 
teau region is open park-like country of tall grass 
with few trees. 

Very little as yet is known of the geology of Liberia. 
On the whole, its rocks appear to be ancient metamor- 
phic rocks — ^gneiss, granulite, amphibolite, granites, 
pegmatite, all abundantly intersected by quartz veins. 
Decomposition products from these rocks overlie most 
of the country. The material and structure of the 
coast region is concealed by deposits of recent allu- 
vium and the dense growth of forest; a conspicuous 
lithological phenomenon is laterite which covers very 
considerable areas and is the result of the distintegra- 
tion of gneiss. As yet little is known of actual min- 
eral values. Gold certainly occurs; magnetite and 
limonite appear to be widely distributed and are 
no doubt in abundant quantity; copper, perhaps 
native, certainly in good ores, occurs in the western 
part of the country ; various localities of corundum 
are known, and it is claimed that rubies of good 
quality have been found ; companies have been organ- 
ized for the mining of diamonds, and it is claimed 
that actual gems are obtained. 

5. There are many rivers in Liberia and the 
country is well watered. Several of these rivers are 
broad in their lower reaches, but they are extremely 
variable in depth and are generally shallow. Few of 
them are navigable to any distance from their mouth, 
and then only by small boats; thus the St. Paul's can 
be ascended only to a distance of about twenty miles, 
the Dukwia to a distance of thirty (but along a very 



DESCRIPTION. 5 

winding course, so that one does not anywhere reach 
a great distance from the coast) , the Sinoe for fifteen 
miles, but by canoes, the Caballa (the longest of all 
Liberian rivers) to eighty miles. 

A notable feature in the physiography of Liberia is 
the great number of sluggish lagoons or wide rivers, 
shallow, running parallel to the coast behind long 
and narrow peninsulas or spits of sand; there are 
so many of these that they practically form a con- 
tinuous line of lagoons lying behind the sandy beach. 
These lagoons open onto the sea at the mouths of the 
more important rivers ; smaller rivers in considerable 
numbers enter thepn so that in reality almost every 
river-mouth in Liberia may be considered not the 
point of entrance of a single river, but of a cluster of 
rivers which have opened into a common reservoir 
and made an outlet through one channel. As good 
examples of these curious lagoons, we may mention 
from west to east the Sugari Biver, Fisherman's Lake, 
Stockton Greek, Mesurado Lagoon, Junk Biver, etc., 
etc. 

Inasmuch as the rivers are the best known features 
of Liberian geography, and as they determine all its 
other details, we shall present here a complete list of 
them, in their order from west to east, together with a 
few observations concerning the more important. 

Mano — ^Mannah : Bewa, in its upper course ; the west- 
em boundary of the country ; flows through a dense 
forest ; no town at its mouth ; not n^-vigable to any 
distance ; Gene, a trading village, twenty miles up ; 
Liberian settlements a few miles east of the mouth. 

Shuguri, (Sugary), Sugari, only a few miles in 
length; extends toward the southeast, parallel to 
the coast. 

Behind the peninsula upon which Cape Mount stands 
is a lagoon called Fisherman's Lake, which parallels 
the coast for a distance of ten miles; this shallow, 
brackish, lagoon is about six miles wide at its widest 
part, and is nowhere more than twelve or thirteen 



6 LIBERU. 

feet in depth; it is so related to the Marphy and 
Sugari Eivers that it is said of them, '* These rivers 
with Fisherman's Lake have a common outlet, 
across which the surf breaks heavily"; where these 
three water bodies enter the sea by a narrow mouth 
there is but three feet depth of water. 

Half Cape Mount Eiver, Little Cape Mount River, 
Lofa (in its upper part). Of considerable length; 
in the dry season a bank of sand closes its mouth ; 
the village of H^lf Cape Mount is here. 

Po, Poba. Small stream eight miles from last; here 
are the Vai village of Digby and the Liberian settle- 
ment of Eoyesville. 

St. Paul's, De; Diani, further up. This great river, 
the second of Liberia, rises on the Mandingo Pla- 
teau, about 8° 55' north latitude ; it is perhaps 280 
miles long; it receives several important tributa- 
ries. There is a bar at its mouth, and it is not 
directly entered from the sea; it is navigable, after 
once being entered through Stockton Creek, to 
White Plains, about twenty miles from its mouth. 

Mesurado River (Mesurado Lagoon) enters the sea 
at Monrovia and lies behind the high ridge on 
which that town is built. Through the same mouth 
with it Stockton Creek enters the sea, and through 
Stockton Creek, which runs across to the St. Paul's, 
the latter is accessible for boats from Monrovia and 
the sea, although at low water there is but two feet 
of depth. At White Plains the St. Paul's River 
is broken by rapids which occur at intervals for a 
distance of about seventy miles. Above these 
rapids it is probably possible to ascend the St. 
Paul's and its tributary Tuma, Toma, might be 
navigable for a combined distance of about 150 
miles. There are many Liberian settlements on the 
lower St. PaiJ's River, and it is said that ** quite 
half the Americo-Liberian population is settled in 
a region between Careysburg and the coast." 

Junk River parallels the coast and nearly reaches 
Mesurado Lagoon; a long, winding tidal creek; at 



DESCRIPTION. 7 

its mouth three streams really enter the sea together 
— ^the Junk, Dukwia, and Farmington. On account 
of the near approach of this river to the Mesurado 
Lagoon, Monrovia is almost on an island thirty 
miles long and three miles wide, surrounded by 
the Mesurado, Junk, and the sea. 

Dukwia. Very winding; navigable for thirty miles; 
source unknown; at its mouth is the settlement of 
Marshall; one of the worst bars of the coast is 
here. 

Little Bassa, Farmington. As already stated, enters 
the sea together with the Junk and the Dukwia. 

Mechlin, Mecklin. A small stream. 

St. John's, Hartford. 

Benson, Bisso (Bissaw). The Mecklin, St. John's, 
and Benson enter the sea by a common mouth. At 
or near this mouth are Edina, Upper Buchanan, 
Lower Buchanan — ^the latter at a fair harbor, 
though with a bad bar. 

Little Kulloh, Eurrah. Small, but accessible to 
boats. 

Tembo. 

Fen. 

Mannah. 

Gestos, Cess. A considerable river, rising probably in 
the Satro Mountains, close to the basin of the 
Gavalla; very bad bar — crocks in the middle and 
only three feet of water. 

Pua. 

Pobama. 

New. 

BrunL 

Sanguin. Of some size; rises in the Nidi Mountains; 
entrance beset with rocks; though the bar here is 
bad, there is a depth of nine or ten feet of water, 
and a promising port might be developed. 

Baffni. 

Tubo, Tuba. 

Sinu, Sinoe, San Vincento, Bio Dulce. Savage rocks, 
bad bar ; Greenville is located at the mouth ; canoes 



8 LIBERU. 

can ascend for about 15 miles ; rises in the Niete or 
Nidi Mountains, close to the Cavalla watershed. 
There are three channels by which boats may enter 
this river. Here again we have long narrow 
lagoons paralleling the coast and with a mere strip 
of land between them and the sea. Going from the 
west toward the east we find the Blubara Creek and 
the Sinoe entering with them. The Blubara Creek 
is supplied by two streams, the 

Bluba and the 

Plassa. 

Uro. 

Dru. A stream of some magnitude. 

Esereus, Baddhu, Dewa, Escravos. It rises in or 
near the Niete Mountains, not far from the sources 
of the Sinoe and Grand Sesters. 

Perruma, near Sasstown. 

Grand Sesters. Empties into a lagoon nearly three 
miles in length. 

Garraway, Garawe, Try. Accessible at all times to 
canoes and boa1». Within the next eight miles 
there are three small streams, 

Gida. 

Dia — with a rock reef stretching out from it. 

Mano. 

Hoffman. Another lagoon-river, which forms Cape 
Palmas harbor; it is one hundred yards wide at 
its entrance to the sea. The town of Harper is 
situated upon it. 

Cavalla; Yubu (in its upper part) ; also Diugu or 
Duyu. The largest river of the country; forms the 
boundary with French possessions; very bad bar; 
goods going up the river are landed at Harper and 
sent across the lagoon which parallels the Atlantic 
for nine miles and is separated from it only by a 
narrow strip of land; navigable for small steam 
vessels for about fifty miles; boats of considerable 
size ascend to a distance of eighty miles; it rises 
in the Nimba Mountains at about 8® north latitude ; 
it receives a number of important tributaries. 



DESCRIPTION. 9 

There are no true lakes in Liberia, although the 
name ''lake" is rather frequently applied to the 
brackish lagoons so often referred to. Thus we hear 
of Fisherman's Lake, Sheppard Leke^ etc. 

6. We have already mentioned that there are no 
natural harbors of any value in Liberia ; boats anchor 
at a considerable distance from the beach, and all load- 
ing and landing is done by means of small boats or 
canoes; at all points there is a dangerous bar, and it is 
a common thing for boats to be capsized in crossing it. 

There are almost no islands of any consequence off 
the coast. There are indeed many masses of land 
included in the networks of river-mouths and lagoons, 
but they are not usually thought of as being islands. 
There are also many rocky islets and reefs along the 
coast, particularly from the mouth of the River 
Cestos eastward. Such, however, are mere masses 
of bare and ja^ed rocks. Of actual islands to which 
names have been given, four are best known, two of 
which are in Montserrado County and two in Mary- 
land County. Bushrod Island, named from Bushrod 
Washington, the first president of the American 
Colonization Society, is a large, cultivable island near 
Monrovia, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the St. 
Paul's Eiver, and Stockton Creek. A very small 
island in the Mesurado, known as Providence or Per- 
severance Island, is interesting as having been at one 
time the only land occupied by the colonists. Garaw6 
Island, also called Old Garawe, at the mouth of the 
GktrawS River, is about three miles long. Russwurm, 
or Dead Island, lies in the Atlantic, opposite Cape 
Palmas, with about two hundred feet of water be- 
tween it and the mainland ; it measures about 700 by 
120 yards; the name Dead Island is due to the fact 
that the aborigines buried their dead here. 

7. The climate of Liberia is very imperfectly 
known. Our most recent data are derived from Sir 
Harry Johnston, the best informant on all scientific 
matters. He states that there is probably a marked 
difference between the climate of the forest region 



10 LIBERU. , 

and that of the Mandingo Plateau. In the forest 
region the dry season is short ; it is the hottest period 
of the year and includes the months of December, 
January, and February; February is the hottest and 
dryest month of the year and the temperature ranges 
from 55^ at night to 100° in the shade at midday. 
During the wet season the daily range is almost noth- 
ing; the constant temperature stands at about 75°. 
The coolest month of tibie year is August with a day 
temperature of 69° and a night temperature of 65°. 
Upon the Mandingo Plateau the annual rainfall is 
believed to be not more than from 60 to 70 inches ; the 
dry season extends from November to May; during 
that time the vegetation is parched; the nights are 
cool, becoming cold with an altitude of 3000 feet; the 
hottest time of the year is at the beginning and end 
of the rainy season when the thermometer may mark 
more than 100° at midday. 

8. On the whole, we still have nothing better in 
regard to the climate than the description given by 
Dr. Lugenbeel in 1850. He traces the characteristics 
of the weather through the year month by month. 
He says: 

^^ January is usually the dryest, and one of the 
warmest months in the year. Sometimes^ during this 
month, no rain at all falls; but generally there are 
occasional slight showers, particularly at night. "Were 
it not for the sea-breeze, which prevails with almost 
uninterrupted regularity, during the greater part of 
the day, on almost every day throughout the year, the 
weather would be exceedingly oppressive, during the 
first three or four months of the year. As it is, the 
oppressiveness of the rays of the tropical sun, is 
greatly mitigated by the cooling breezes from the 
ocean ; which usually blow from about 10 o'clock A. M. 
to about 10 o'clock P. M., the land-breezes occupying 
the remainder of the night and morning; except for 
an hour or two about the middle of the night, and 
about an hour in the forenoon. During these inter- 
vals, the atmosphere is sometimes very oppressive. 



DESCMPTION. 11 

The regularity of the sea-breeze, eepecially during the 
month of January, is sometimes interrupted by the 
longer continuance of the land-breeze, which occa- 
sionally does not cease blowing until 2 or 3 o'clock 
P. M. This is what is called the harmattan wind; 
about which a great deal has been written ; but which 
does not generally fully accord with the forced de- 
SQriptions of hasty observers or copyists. 

The principal peculiarity of the harmattan wind 
consists in its drying properties, and its very sensible 
coolness, especially early in the morning. It seldom, 
perhaps never, continues during the whole day; and 
usually not much longer than the ordinary land- 
breeze, at other times in the year. When this wind 
blows pretty strongly, the leaves and covers of books 
sometimes curl, as if they had been placed near a 
fire; the seams of furniture, and of wooden vessels 
sometimes open considerably, and the skin of persons 
sometimes feels peculiarly dry and unpleasant, in 
consequence of &e rapid evaporation of both the 
sensible and the insensible perspiration. But these 
effects are usually by no means so great as they have 
been represented to be. What is generally called the 
harmattan season usually commences about the mid- 
dle of December, and continues until the latter part 
of February. During this time, especially during 
the month of January, the atmosphere has a smoky 
apx>earance, similar to what is termed Indian sum- 
mer in the United States, but generally more hazy. 

The average height of the mercury in the ther- 
mometer, during the month of January, is about 
85**, it seldom varies more than 10°, during the 24 
hours of the day ; and usually it does not vary more 
than 4° between the hours of 10 A. M. and 10 P. M. 
During this month, however, I have seen the mercury 
stand at the lowest mark, at which I ever observed 
it, in Liberia, that is, at 68°. This was early in the 
morning during the prevalence of a very strong land- 
breeze. During this month I have also seen the mer- 
cury stand at the highest mark, at which I ever 



12 LIBERIA. 

observed it — ^that is, at 90°. The air is sometimes 
uncomfortably cool, before 8 o'clock A.M., during 
this month. 

During the month of February the weather is gen- 
erally similar to that of January. There are, how- 
ever, usually more frequent showers of rain; and 
sometimes, towards the close of this month, slight 
tornadoes are experienced. The harmattan haze gen- 
erally disappears about the last of this month; and 
the atmosphere becomes clear. The range of the 
thermometer is about the same as in January. 

March is perhaps the most trying month in the 
year to the constitutions of new-comers. The atmos- 
phere is usually very oppressive during this month — 
the sun being nearly vertical. The occasional showers 
of rain, and the slight tornadoes, which occur in this 
month, do not usually mitigate the oppressiveness of 
the atmosphere, as might be supposed. The variation 
in the state of the atmosphere, as indicated by the 
thermometer, seldom exceeds 6° during the whole of 
this month. The average height of the mercury is 
about 85**. 

April is significantly called the * tornado month,' 
the most numerous and most violent tornadoes usually 
occurring during this month. The ordinary state of 
the weather, in reference to the degree of heat, and 
its influence on the system, is not very different from 
that of the three preceding months. The showers of 
rain are usually more frequent, however; and the 
visitations of those peculiar gusts, called tornadoes, 
are much more common in April, than in any other 
month. These are sudden, and sometimes violent 
gusts, which occur much more frequently at night, 
than during the day. Although they usually approach 
suddenly and rapidly, yet certain premonitory evi- 
dences of their approach are almost always presented, 
which are generally easily recognized by persons who 
have frequently observed them. They generally com- 
mence from northeast, or east-northeast, and rapidly 



DESCRIPTION. 13 

shift around to nearly southeast; by which time the 
storm is at its height. 

At the commencement of a tornado, dark clouds 
appear above the eastern horizon, which rapidly 
ascend, until a dense looking mass spreads over the 
whole hemisphere. As the heavy mass of clouds 
ascends and spreads, the roaring sound of the 
wind becomes stronger and louder, until suddenly it 
bursts forth in its fury; sometimes seeming as if it 
would sweep away every opposing object. Very 
seldom, however, is any material injury sustained 
from these violent gusts. The scene is sometimes 
awfully grand, for fifteen or twenty minutes, during 
the formation and continuance of a heavy tornado. 
Sometimes the whole henusphere presents a scene of 
the deepest gloom; the darkness of which is momen- 
tarily illuminated by vivid flashes of lightning, in 
rapid succession ; and sometimes tremendous peals of 
thunder burst upon the solemn stillness of the scene. 
The rain seldom falls, until the violence of the gust 
begins to subside ; when a torrent of rain usually pours 
down for a short time, seldom more than half an 
hour; after which, the wind shifts around towards 
the west; and generally, in about an hour from the 
commencement of the tornado, the sky becomes serene, 
and sometimes almost cloudless. 

The weather during the month of Mwy is usually 
more pleasant, than during the two preceding months. 
The atmosphere is generally not quite so warm and 
oppressive. Sometimes copious and protracted show- 
ers of rain fall, during the latter half of this month ; 
so that the beginning of the rainy season usually 
occurs in this month. Tornadoes also occasionally 
appear, during the month of May. The average 
height of the mercury in the thermometer is usually 
two or three degrees less, than during the four pre- 
ceding months. 

June is perhaps the most rainy month in the year. 
More or less rain usually falls nearly every day or 
night in this month. Although there are sometimes 



14 LIBEBU. 

clear and pleasant days in June ; yet, there are seldom 
twenty-four successive hours of entire freedom from 
rain. The sun is, however, seldom entirely obscured 
for a week at a time; and he frequently shines oiit 
brightly and pleasantly, in the interstices between the 
floating clouds, several times during the day; occa- 
sionally for several hours at a time. During this 
month, as during all the other rainy months, more 
rain always falls at night than in the day time; 
and, indeed, there are very few days in the year, 
in which the use of an umbrella may not be dispensed 
with some time during the ordinary business hours. 
In the month of June, the atmosphere is always con- 
siderably cooler than during the preceding month; 
and I have generally found it necessary to wear 
woolen outer as well as under garments ; and to sleep 
beneath thick covering at night, in order to be com- 
fortably warm. The sensible perspiration is always 
much less, during the month, and the five succeeding 
months, than during the other six months in the year. 
The mercury in the thermometer seldom rises above 
80° in this month, the average height being about 
75°. 

During the months of July and August, a great 
deal of rain also generally falls ; but perhaps less in 
both these months than in the preceding month. 
There is always a short season of comparatively dry, 
and very pleasant weather, in one or both of these 
months. This season usually continues from three 
to five weeks ; and generally commences about the 20th 
or 25th of July, Sometimes, for several successive 
days, the sun shines brilliantly and pleasantly all 
day ; and no rain falls at night. The air, however, is 
always refreshingly cool and agreeable. This is per- 
haps the most pleasant time in the year. This is what 
is commonly called 'the middle dries.' It seems as if 
Providence has specially ordered this temporary ces- 
sation of the rains, for the purpose of permitting the 
ripening and gathering of the crops of rice, which are 
generally harvested in August. 



DESCRIPTION. 15 

September and October are also generally very 
rainy months; especially the former. Sometimes 
more rain falls in September, than in any other month 
in the year. Towards the close of October, rains 
begins to be less copious; and sometimes slight 
tornadoes appear, indicative of the cessation of the 
rainy season. The sea-breezes are usually very strong, 
during these two months; and the atmosphere is 
generally uniformly cool, and invigorating to the 
physical system. 

During the month of November the weather is gen- 
erally very pleasant, the temperature of the atmos- 
phere being agreeable to the feelings — ^not so cool as 
during the five preceding months, and not so warm 
as during the five succeeding months, the average 
height of the mercury in the thermometer being 
about 82°. Frequent showers of rain usually fall 
during this month, both in the day and at night ; but 
generally they are of short duration. Slight torna- 
does also generally appear in this month. The sun 
may usually be seen during a part of every day in the 
month; and frequently he is not obscured by clouds, 
during the whole of the time in which he is above the 
horisson. The middle of this month may be regarded 
as the beginning of the dry season. 

December is also generally a very pleasant month. 
Occasional slight showers of rain fall during this 
month, sometimes several sprinklings in one day, but 
seldom for more than a few minutes at a time. The 
mornings in this month are peculiarly delightful. 
The sun usually rises with brilliancy and beauty ; and 
the hills and groves, teeming with the verdure of 
perpetual spring, are enriched by the mingled melody 
of a thousand cheerful songsters. Nothing that I have 
ever witnessed in the United States exceeds the love- 
liness of a December morning in Liberia.'' 

9. Closely related to climate is health. Here again 
we have no better information than that supplied us 
by Dr. Lugenbeel. He asserts that "the rainy sea- 
son is decidedly more conducive to health than the 



16 XilBERU. 

dry season in both new-comers and old settlers. The 
oppressiveness of the atmosphere and the enervating 
effects of the weather, during the dry season, tend to 
debilitate the physical system, and thereby to render 
it more susceptible of being affected. Persons who 
arrive in Liberia during this season are more liable 
to attacks of fever than those who arrive during the 
rainy season." Monrovia is usually ranked with 
Freetown as being unusually unhealthy; conditions 
have, however, considerably improved and are by no 
means so bad as in the early days. All new-comers, 
white and black alike, must undergo the acclimating 
fever, but on the whole, blacks seem to suffer least. 
Bemittent and intermittent fevers, diarrhoea and dys- 
entery are among the more common and serious 
diseases. Rheumatism occurs, though it is rarely vio- 
lent either in a chronic or acute form ; dropsical affec- 
tions are rather common, often due to debility after 
fever; enlargement of the liver and spleen are com- 
mon, the latter being most frequent in whites and 
mulattoes, and usually following upon fevers; the 
most common eruptive diseases are measles and ery- 
sipelas — ^both mild; varioloid, though common, is 
rarely fatal; flatulent colics are common; slight 
scratches and abrasions give rise readily to ulcers, 
more common in whites and mulattoes than in blacks. 
Leprosy is occasional among natives. Curious local 
diseases are craw craw and yaws, both endemic cuta- 
neous troubles. The famous sleeping sickness, the 
scourge of Africa, is more frequent among natives 
than among the Americo-Liberians, but it has long 
been known in that region. The list sounds like a 
long and dreadful one, but is, after all, far from ap- 
palling. Dr. Lugenbeel says: ''Some other diseases, 
which are common to most countries, may be occa- 
sionally observed in Liberia ; but the variety is much 
less than in the United States; and except in some 
old chronic affections, in broken down constitutions, 
convalescence is generally much more rapid; in con- 
sequence of the less violence of the attack. Among 



DESCRIPTION. 17 

the many attacks of fever, which I experienced, I 
never was obliged to remain in my room more than 
a week, at any one time ; and I very seldom was con- 
fined to my bed longer than twenty-four hours. The 
danger in new-comers generally consists more in the 
frequency than in the violence of the attacks of sick- 
ness. And the majority of colored immigrants, who 
have sufficient prudence to use such means for the 
preservation of good health in Liberia as enlightened 
judgment would dictate, usually enjoy as good health, 
after the first year of their residence, as they for- 
merly enjoyed in the United States. . In some cases, 
indeed, the state of the health of the immigrant is 
decidedly improved by the change of residence from 
America to Africa. " In another place, he says : **In 
some cases, persons who might have enjoyed tolerable 
health in the United States, die very soon after their 
arrival in Liberia, in consequence of the physical sys- 
tem not being sufficiently vigorous to undergo the 
necessary change, in order to become adapted to 
the climate. Hence the impropriety of persons emi- 
grating to Liberia whose constitutions have become 
much impaired by previous diseases, by intemper- 
ance, or otherwise. And hence the necessity of mis- 
sionary societies being careful to guard the physical 
as well as the moral qualifications of persons who 
offer themselves as missionaries to Africa." 

10. So far as concerns the flora of the country, 
four different types present themselves. The beach, 
the river-swamp, the forest, the grass-lands present 
their characteristic forms of plant-life. Five-sixths 
of the. Republic are covered with the densest tropical 
forest; an enormous variety of gigantic trees grow 
closely crowded together and are bound by a tangle 
of vines and creeping plants into an almost impene- 
trable mass. Nowhere perhaps in the world is there 
a more typical tropical forest. The lower reaches of 
the rivers are bordered by a thicket of mangroVes 
and pandanus, the former by its curious mode of 
growtii — ^throwing downward from its branches 
almost vertical aerial roots which reach the water and 

3. 



18 LIBEBIA. 

strike down into the soft, oozy mud of the river- 
bottom — stretching far out from the banks them- 
selves over the stream. Among the notable trees of 
Liberia are mahogany, ebony, and other valuable 
timber trees; camwood is abundant, and was formerly 
an object of important export for dyeing purposes; 
coffee grows wild and is of fine quality; ^ere are 
various gum-producing trees, among them that which 
yields the gum arabic; the kola nut is common and 
has long been exported from the Grain Coast; there 
are various rubber-producing plants — the funtumia 
and landolpkia, the two most prized rubber-plants of 
Africa, occur abundantly — ^the former being a tree, 
the latter a vine; palms of many species occur; 
among them are the borassus or fan-palm, the calamus 
or climbing palm, the oil palm, a raphia, commonly 
known as the bamboo palm, which yields palm wine 
and the precious piassava fibre ; notable is the great 
cotton-tree, which is considered sacred by the natives, 
no doubt on account of its strange appearance, due 
to enormous, thin, buttressing roots. There are 
flowers everywhere; water-lilies are common in the 
swamps, and lovely epiphytic orchids bloom upon 
the forest trees. 

11. The fauna is especially interesting because 
it presents an ancient facies, more like that of a by- 
gone age than of the present. In fact Sir Harry 
Johnston refers to it as being of the Mioceme type. 
There are at least a dozen species of apes and mon- 
keys, among which the most interesting is the 
chimpanzee; there are many species of bats of all 
sizes, some being insectivorous and others eating 
fruits ; there are a variety of wild cats, including the 
leopard, and thematives make a specialty of killing 
them for their spotted skins; two species of mon- 
goose are found ; the red river hog is abundant ; four 
species of manis, with curious overlapping scales, able 
to roll themselves up into a ball something like an 
armadillo, are among the curious forms; the most 
interesting animal in the fauna perhaps is the water 
chevrotain, a creature of no great size, but which 



DESCRIPTION. 19 

presents a curious intermediate or connecting form 
between the pig and camel on the one side and the 
deer, giraffe, and antelope on the other; true ante- 
lopes are numerous in many species, some of which 
are dainty little creatures; the buffalo, perhaps the 
most dangerous animal of Africa, occurs; elephants 
are still found, and ever since the traders first visited 
the Grain Coast, ivory has been to some degree ex- 
ported; the most famous of Liberian animals, how- 
ever, is the pygmy hippopotamus, just like the larger 
species, but weighing perhaps only four hundred 
pounds when fully grown. 

12. Bird-life, too, is abundant. There are natu- 
rally great numbers of water birds, both swimmers 
and waders — such as egrets and other herons, ibis, 
and the strange finfoot; hombills are common; eagles 
and vultures occur; one of the commonest and most 
striking of the birds is the black and white crow; 
brilliant of plumage is the plantain-eater, but the 
parrots of the country are dull and inconspicuous. 
Of reptiles there are plenty. The python is the largest 
snake, and grows to a length of thirty feet ; there are 
many species of serpents, including ten which are 
poisonous; lizards are common, among them the 
chameleon with its varying color and its strange, inde- 
pendently movable eyes; crocodiles are common in 
all the rivers. There are fish in plenty, but the most 
curious certainly is the little bommi fish which comes 
out of the water, jumps about upon the bank, and 
even crawls among the branches and bushes near the 
water; in appearance and movement it is so like a 
frog that one at first does not realize that it is in 
reality a fish. 

13. "While beasts, birds, and reptiles are varied 
and numerous, it is surprising how inconspicuous 
they are. In fact, unless one is really hunting for 
these creatures, he may rarely see them. One might 
spend months in Liberia and upon returning home 
declare that forest and stream were almost without 
inhabitants. There are, however, forms of life which 
are very much in evidence. Insects and other inver- 



20 LIBERIA. 

tebrate forms abound; no one can overlook them. 
The termites or white ants are everywhere. Some- 
times they build their enormous hillocks of clay out 
in the open country; these are great constructions 
which rise to a height of six, eight, or ten feet and 
which, within, present a complicated system of pas- 
sages and tunnels; in the heart of this great nest the 
queen lives immured in a clay cell. Another species 
of the white ant enters houses and works destruc- 
tion ; books, papers, wood, all may be destroyed. This 
sort dislikes exposure to the sunlight and constructs 
tunnels to protect themselves from it. Of true ants 
there are many species, among which of course the 
driver is the most famous; it travels in droves of 
millions, running in a continuous black line perhaps 
an inch in breadth and many rods in length ; they are 
scavengers and clear everything within their path; 
their bite is painful, and one must look out for their 
moving column when he is upon the trail ; they swarm 
upon and kill small animals which they encounter and 
clean their skeletons before they leave; when they 
enter houses people are wise to vacate and leave them 
to clean out the place. The famous jigger is a recent 
importation into Liberia, as into Africa generally ; it 
burrows into human feet, causing an intolerable itch- 
ing; ensconced, it develops a sack of eggs, round and 
of considerable size ; unless this is removed, the eggs 
hatch and the young burrow out into the sole of 
the foot ; when itching is felt, search should be made 
for its cause and the insect, sack and all, carefully 
removed with a needle ; serious injury to the feet may 
result if jiggers are neglected. When one walks over 
the trail during rainy weather, he sees great quanti- 
ties of earth-worms of enormous size, even two feet 
six inches or three feet in length. Scorpions and cen- 
tipedes are not uncommon. We have not even 
suggested the wide range and diversity of insect-life, 
but have simply mentioned samples of the more 
conspicuous. 

14. The human population of Liberia consists of 
the Americo-Liberians, who live in a number of small 



DESCRIPTION. 21 

settlements along the coast and upon some of the 
more important rivers, and the aborigines. The truly 
native population consists of many different tribes, 
each with its own language, territory, government, 
and life. These tribes linguistically form three or 
four groups. Delafosse, our best authority in regard 
to Liberian populations, recognizes four such groups ; 
Sir Harry Johnston recognizes three. The four divi- 
sions of Delafosse are Kru, Mandingo, Gola, Gbele — 
Sir Harry Johnston's are Kru, Mandingo, and 
Kpwesi. We have already suggested that the tribes 
are many and diverse; within his Kru group Dela- 
fosse names eighteen tribes. The black populations 
of Africa are usually divided into three great divi- 
sions — ^true Negroes, Bantu, Negrillos (Pygmies and 
Bushmen). The Liberian tribes are true Negroes 
and are to be distinguished from the Bantu popula- 
tions of Congo, Beige and southern Africa. Most 
of the native tribes are pagan. In the western half 
of Liberia, however, Mohammedanism has taken hold 
of the great tribes of Mandingo and Vai. Among 
all these natives the tribal organization and govern- 
ment* remain in full force, although most of them 
recognize the sovereignty of the Republic; native 
dress, arts, and industries remain ; among the pagan 
tribes i)olygamy is common; domestic slavery still 
exists ; witchcraft is recognized and the ancient 
ordeals are practiced. 

PouncAii Geography. — 1. The name Liberia was 
suggested in 1824 by Robert Goodloe Harper, of Bal- 
timore, Maryland, and has reference to the fact that- 
the colony was established as a land of freedom; the 
capital city, Monrovia, was also named on his sugges- 
tion in honor of the president of the United States 
at that time, James Monroe. The Republic of Liberia 
is divided for administrative purposes into four coun- 
ties — ^Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, and Mary- 
land. These are named in order from west to east. 
The portion of Montserrado County lying around 
Cape Mount forms a territory with Robertsport as 
its capital and chief city. 



22 LIBERIA. 

2. It is dif&cult to learn reliable facts regarding 
the population of Liberia. Sir Harry Johnston made 
a careful estimation of the number of Americo- 
Liberians, listing each of the settlements and stating 
their probable number of inhabitants. He found the 
total to be 11,850 persons — or in round numbers 
12,000; he estimated that there were 30,000 natives 
who had been more or less in contact with the white 
man and knew something of English or some other 
European language and of civilization ; he estimated 
the total of untouched native population at 2,000,000 
persons. Delafosse, an exceptionally cautious ob- 
server, claims 30,000 civilized inhabitants. Gerard 
raises the citizen mass of the Republic to 80,000 per- 
sons, of whom 20,000 are Amerieo-Liberians and 
60,000 are natives who have submitted themselves to 
the laws of the country. It is certain that Sir Harry 's 
estimate of the number of interior natives is at least 
double the reality; so far as the other elements of 
population are concerned, he is probably somewhat 
near the facts, although it is likely that his number 
of 12,000 Amerieo-Liberians is an underestimate. 

3. Most of the Americo-Liberian settlements are 
on the coast, although there are a number along the 
St. Paul's River and a few upon some of the other 
rivers. There are four cities in the Republic, with, 
mayor and common council ; Monrovia, Grand Bassa, 
Edina, and Harper. The townships are Robertsport, 
Marshall, River Cess, Greenville, Nana Kru, Cavalla. 
In order to reduce the expense of the government 
service, the Liberian government has limited the num- 
ber of open ports where foreigners may trade. The 
open ports at the present time include the cities and 
townships above mentioned and also Manna, Nifu, 
Sasstown, and Fishtown. The remaining ports are 
open for trade to Liberians but not to foreign traders. 
They are. Little Bassa, Tobakoni, New Cess, Trade 
Town, Grand KuUoh, Tembo, Rock Cess, Bafu Bay, 
Butu, Kroba, Beddo, Pickanini Cess, Grand Cesters, 
Wedabo, Puduke, Garaw6. 



DESCRIPTION. 



23 



4. We reproduce Sir Harry Johnston's table.* It 
appears to have been carefully made and deserves 
consideration. We happen to have another set of 
figures, however, which we can compare with his; 
we quote them from Ferguson's Handbook of Liberia. 
In May, 1907, an amendment to the Constitution was 
submitted to the popular vote; 6579 votes were cast 
Voters must be males of at least twenty-one years and 
owners of property; the population represented by 

•SUMMABT OP POPULATION—AMBBICO-LIBBBIANS 



MontMmdo 
Ooimlir— 

Boberlnport 

Bafmfwwe. 

St. PanTi Blver 






400 
60 



HevG«oivi* 900 

OiOdweU 100 

BroiPtiTille 800 

Olaj-Aflhland. 400 

LCMliBtalMI 100 

NevTork 80 

White PlaliM 800 

MUlslNUV 860 

ArlhiDfftoii 800 

Oummiiv 400 

Orod«rviIIe 100 

BeiMonTill*. 160 

BobertovUle 160 

Hmrrtolmis 860 



8860 



StttJamenti <m tb» 
MMunido BlTvr — 
Bamenrille ....' 
Chwdnenrille.... 800 
JohnooDTllle .... 
Pajnetvllto .... 

Monrovia J 

JimkRlT«r 

Seftttemmiti— 
SdileAnand 

PowoUTllle 886 

Mount OUto 160 

MwrtuJl. 186 

Vumlngton BiTor 
and Owea't OroTe.800 



8600 



67 



109 

170 

484 

81 



17 

64 

688 

108 

116 

89 



81 

816 
887 
106 



66 
14 



800 



Orand Bmm Oonntr* 
OnndBMsaSatOe- 



lAttleBaflM 60 

BdlnA 860 

Hartford..... 60 

9t Jolm*t BlTor. . . .860 
Upiar Boetaanan. . . 400 
'Bbcliaiiaii...600 
60 



494 
74 

1898 
810 



Coast: Orand BaMa 
Conn^— 
Orand Basaa to 

BiverOeatoa 

OnBlTerOeatoa.... 
Slnoe Coontjr. 

Slnoe Sottlenidnta— 

SlnoBlTor 60 

Lexington 100 

Oreenvilie 860 

Pliiladeliihia 186 

Georgia 186 



(Johni- (Fergii' 
ton) son) 

160 
60 



68 
166 



KmOoact— 
Nana Km 
SetraKm 
Nifa 

SaflsTown 
Oarawe 

Maryland Ooontjr. 
Gape Palmas and 
Lower OaTalla— 

Bocktown 100 

Harper 900 

Philadelphia 100 

Latrobe 60 

Oattington 100 

HalfOavalla 60 

Hoffmann 60 

Middlesex 60 

Jacksonville 76 

BnnkerHiU 86 

Tubman Town 100 

Kew Georgia 86 

HiUierville 86 



760 



.160 



1660 



Scattered in Interior 
Kelipo, Maryland 

0<Kint7 
BoporoHegion 
Upper St. Paal*8. 

etc.. etc 



.160 



1760 



11,860 



Owing to the ose of different names, 
and the use of the same name in differ- 
ent ways, a comi^ete comparison is 
impossible. 



24 



LIBERIA. 



them would surely be at least three times this num- 
ber — ^which gives a minimum of 19,737. These figures, 
however, can not be depended upon without qualifica- 
tion, because no doubt ''natives" were among the 
voters; in fact, when matters of importance, upon 
which public opinion is actively aroused, are voted 
on, the ''brother from the bush'' is mustered to the 
polls in considerable numbers. We copy the numbers 
voting at different settlements in column parallel to 
Sir Harry Johnston's figures. Curious discrepancies 
occur, as for instance, cases where a larger number 
of votes were cast than Sir Harry's figure, which is 
supposed to give the total number of population. 

5. As vital statistics for Liberia are rare, and it 
is interesting to know how immigrants survived 
the acclimating fever, we subjoin a table taken 
from the African Repository.* It is interesting 



• POPULATION MOVEMENT FOR UBEBIA (E:2:CLUSIVE 




OF MARYLAND) 


FROM 1820 TO 1843 




rear 


▲rrlntls 


Defttfaa 


Bcmorals 


Births. LIT. 


^^ 


1820 . . . 


86 


15 

7 


35 
8 


___ 


36 


1821... 


33 


54 


1822... 


37 


14 


5 


3 


7Sl 


1823. . . 


65 


15 


8 


6 


120 


1824... 


103 


21 


8 


3 


200 


1825... 


66 


21 


3 


6 


248 


1826 . . . 


182 


48 


6 


3 


379 


1827... 


234 


29 


14 


6 


576 


1828... 


301 


137 


24 


12 


638 


1829.. . 


247 


67 

110 

83 


25 
25 
12 


. 20 
20 
30 


813 


1830 . . . 


326 


1,024 


1831... 


165 


1,117 


1832 . . . 


655 


129 
217 
140 
83 
145 
141 
185 
135 


83 
122 
31 
32 
13 
6 
12 
10 


13 

44 
33 
48 
47 
58 
56 
55 


1,573 


1833 . . . 


639 


1,917 


1834. . . 


237 


1,016 


1835. . . 


183 


2,132 


1836. 


209 


2,230 


1837. . . 


76 


2,217 


1838 . . 


205 


2,281 


1839 . . . 


56 


2,247 


1840 . 


115 


180 

100 

91 

85 


6 

9 

15 

2 


40 
78 
35 
29 


2,216 


1841. . . 


86 


2,271 


1842 


229 


2,429 


1843... 


19 


2,390 



DESCRIPTION. 25 

in various ways. The large number of deaths, nearly 
one-half the total of immigrants, is not strange in 
view of the fact that a large part of the persons sent 
were well on in years, or worn out through service. 
Such, and small children, were especially liable to 
die luader the new . conditions. Under the circum- 
stances, the number of removals (presumably returns 
to the United States) is not large. Most interesting 
of all, however, is the column of viable births. How 
would it compare with the present? The impression 
the visitor receives is that the Americo-Liberian pop- 
ulation is barely holding its own — ^if it is doing that. 
Society. — ^1. In considering the society of Liberia, 
and the problems with which the Liberian govern- 
ment has had to deal, it is necessary to sharply distin- 
guish the different elements of which it is composed. 
We have already indicated them, but it will be well 
here to clearly separate them. We may first recognize 
immigrant and aboriginal populations. The immi- 
grant population, as we use tiie term, includes negroes 
who have come from the United States, from the 
British West Indies, or from South America, and 
their descendants; this class also includes a number 
of recaptured Africans and their descendants. The 
first settlers were of course American f reed-men from 
the United States. They and their descendants have 
always formed the bulk of the Liberian population. 
Immigration from the United States has never en- 
tirely ceased, although in these latter days the new- 
comers have been people who were born in freedom. 
There is a very considerable number of so-called 
**West Indian Negroes" in Liberia; ever since the 
foundation of the Republic there has been a small 
but rather steady influx of such individuals. Occa- 
sionally immigrants have also come from South 
American colonies and from various British colonies 
and settlements along the coast of West Africa; all 
of these new-comers are included under the general 
term of Americo-Liberians, even though they may 
have had no relation to America. During the early 



26 LIBERIA. 

days of Liberia it was customary to send Africans who 
had been captured on slaving ships by American war 
vessels to Liberia for settlement; these individuals 
were known as recaptured Africans, and it was cus- 
tomary to settle them in places by themselves; 
although such recaptured Africans rapidly acquired 
the improvements of civilization and showed them- 
selves industrious, enterprising, and progressive, 
they were generally looked upon with more or less 
contempt by the other settlers. The aboriginal popu- 
lation may be divided into three quite different 
groups. The coast natives, Kru and others, have 
long been in constant contact with white men and 
have acquired considerable knowledge of the outside 
world; they are constantly employed by steamers 
both as crews and in loading and discharging cargoes. 
In the western half of the Bepublic Mohammedan in- 
fluence is strong; the Mandingo, most of the Yai, 
and considerable numbers of such tribes as the Gola 
are Mohammedans ; the influence of Mohammedanism 
is spreading and the presence of this element is des- 
tined to have its effect upon the nation. The third 
element of the native population is the interior natives 
living the old tribal life. Having thus called atten- 
tion to the different elements which mingle in Liberian 
society, it will be understood that our further dis- 
cussion in this section has reference only to the civi- 
lized Liberians. 

2. The Liberian settlements generally consist of 
well built houses arranged along broad, straight 
streets. The style of architecture is, as might be 
expected, influenced by the plantation houses of our 
southern states before the war. It was natural that 
the freed-men, when they had a chance to develop, 
should copy those things with which they were 
familiar.. Towns, houses, dress, life — all were repro- 
ductions of what was considered elegant in the days 
before removal. Of course Monrovia, as the capital 
city, is the best representative of the development. 
It is a town of perhaps 7,000 inhabitants ; it is fiJiarply 



DESCRIPTION. 27 

divided into two diviedons, a civilized quarter upon 
the summit of a ridge some 290 feet in height ; here 
live the Americo-Liberians and the European resi- 
dents. The buildings are for the most part rather 
large constructions of one and a half or two stories; 
the houses have large rooms with high ceilings and 
are generally supplied with balconies and porches. 
Krutown, lying along the water's edge on the seacoast 
and fronting the interior lagoon, consists of large, 
rectangular native houses closely crowded together, 
and its narrow streets swarm with people. Five min- 
utes' walk takes one from the Executive Mansion in 
the heart of the civilized quarter to the heart of 
Eratown. 

While on the streets of Monrovia one may see a 
startling range of clothing, due to the fact that there 
are pagan natives, Kru boys, Mohammedans, and 
Americo-Liberians, all jostling and elbowing each 
other. The Americo-Liberian dresses very much like 
civilized people in our ordinary country towns. There 
are of course differences in wealth, and one may see 
all grades of dress. On all public occasions men of 
prominence appear in the regulation dress of our 
southern states. Sir Harry Johnston says that 
^^ Liberia is the land of the cult of the dress-suit." 
Nowhere else have I ever seen so large a number, pro- 
portionally, of dress-suits, frock-coats, and stovepipe 
hats as in Monrovia upon Sundays or days of cele- 
bration. 

3. All speak English, and though Sir Harry does 
not like their English, it is far better than might be 
expected, though there are indeed colloquialisms. All 
who meet you give friendly greetings. At first it is 
something of a shock to have the children as they pass 
say **Mawnin, paw," or address one as ** daddy," but 
one soon becomes accustomed to it. On the whole, the 
life of the people is that of simple country folk. They 
are well satisfied with their condition and take life 
eafify. They love to sit on the porch and chat with 
passers. On the whole, it must be admitted that they 



28 LIBERIA. 

lack energy. The number who really think, lead, 
direct, control, is very small. There is, as among our 
own colored people here at home, something of over- 
elegance in both speech and manner. While a very 
large number of them read, few indeed have even 
a moderate education. 

4. Sociability is largely developed. They love 
to gather upon every kind of pretext. There are prac- 
tically no places of public amusement. In 1831 there 
was a public library with twelve hundred volumes in 
the city of Monrovia ; to-day there is no public library 
or reading-room in the capital city. Lodges are nu- 
merous and the number of secret organizations is 
very large. There are eight or ten Free Masons 
Lodges; the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows has 
sixteen lodges and upwards of three hundred mem- 
bers; the United Brothers of Friendship have lodges 
at ten of the most important towns and The Sisters 
of the Mysterious Ten — ^which is the female branch 
of the order — ^has four temples; the Independent 
Order of Good Templars too is represented. Literary 
societies and lyceums are from time to time organ- 
ized, but usually have a short existence; one, how- 
ever, at Cape Palmas, seems to have outlived the usual 
period. A respectable Bar Association has been in 
existence for several years, has annual meetings, and 
prints its proceedings. 

5. There is little of what could be called literary 
activity in the Republic. One sees some books, but 
there are no book-stores; the number of individuals 
who have modest private libraries must be very small. 
It is true, however, that a considerable number of 
men can write remarkably well. The public docu- 
ments of the Republic have always been well worded 
and forceful. The messages of succeissive presidents 
to the legislature have shown extraordinary ability. 
One who follows the dealings of Liberian ofScials 
with foreign governments is constantly impressed by 
the fact that in deliberation they show judgment, in 
diplomatic procedure extraordinary skill. It is cer- 



DESCRIPTION. 29 

tainly no unjust discrimination to emphasize the 
literary power of such men as Ex-President Arthur 
Barclay, Chief Justice J. J. Dossen, Ex-Secretary of 
State F. E. B. Johnson, and Judge £. Barclay, a poet 
of no mean ability. Oratory is inherent in the race 
and the number of individuals who can deliver a 
public address of merit on the celebration of Inde- 
pendence Day or other occasion is very large. Such 
orations are often put into print, and a considerable 
library might be made of this kind of production. 
Comparatively few have written seriously on public 
questions or on history. Occasionally something in 
this line is printed — Karnga's Negro Republic on 
West Africa, and Branch's Sketch of the History of 
Arthington are samples. The one notable literary 
man whom Liberia has produced is Edward Wilmot 
Blyden, who died a year ago; his name is known 
wherever the English language is read and his con- 
tributions upon negro subjects were many and 
important. 

6. Newspapers. — ^When we were in Monrovia in 
October and November, 1912, no newspaper was 
printed in the capital city. At that time six peri- 
odicals were published at different places in the Re- 
public. They were : The Living Chronicle, The Silver 
Trumpet, both printed at Cape Palmas ; The African 
League, at Grand Bassa; The Gazette (ofScial) and 
Liberia and West Africa, at Monrovia. Three of these 
publications were missionary enterprises, one was an 
ofScial monthly publication, and one was an actual 
newspaper appearing monthly. This, The African 
League, was conducted by J. H. Green, an American 
negro from Little Rock, Arkansas; it began in the 
United States and is now in its fifteenth volume; it 
was removed to Liberia at the beginning of its fourth 
volume, which was printed in Monrovia in 1902; it 
is now conducted at Buchanan, or Grand Bassa. The 
African League is a live sheet and discusses the ques- 
tions of the day with considerable independence. 
Newspapers in Liberia have a hard time and usually 



30 LIBERIA. 

maintain a brief existence; so true is this that per- 
sons are extremely cautious about subscribing by the 
year to any publication for fear that it will end after 
the publication of the first few numbers; for this 
reason it is more customary to buy single copies than 
to subscribe for a definite term. Still worse than this, 
it is far more the custom for Liberian readers to bor- 
row newspapers than to buy them; nowhere x>^rhaps 
does a single copy of a periodical go so far. All of 
this makes editing and publishing an uphill task. 

PERIODICALS OP LIBERIA 

In the course of reading, rummaging and inquiry, I have 
secured a lot of fragmentary information regarcUng Liberian 
periodicals. I present the matter here because taken together 
it is more in quantity and more definite than I have been able to 
&id an3rwhere in print. I make this note in the hope that it may 
bring me information to correct and extend the list. 

1829 The Liberia Herald. John B. Russwarm was the first 

editor. Hiliary Teague and Edward Wilmot Blyden 
(1851) edited it at times. Whether it was continu- 
ously published, I do not know. It was sometimes, 
perhaps always, aided by the govemment. 

1830 lAherian Star, 
(1832) The Armlet 

(1839) The African Luminary. 
(188-) The Observer. 
1898 The Liberia Recorder — 1906. Last editor, N. H. B. 

Oassell. 
1898 Liberia and West Africa. (Vol. XIV in 1912.) Pub- 
lished by the Methodist Episcopal Mission, at the 
College of West Africa. Perhaps at first The New 
Africa. 

The WeelcVy Spy. 

The Baptist Monitor. 

The New Africa. 

The Living Chronicle, 

The Cape Palrmis Reporter ; monthly. 

J. J. Dossen. 



'The Youth's Gazette (student paper, 
College of West Africa). 



All between 1898 
and 1902. 



1902 The African League: Monrovia, monthly; later Bu- 
chanan, semi-monthly. J. H. Green. Began publica- 
tion in the United States; the fourth volume at 
Monrovia. 



DESCRIPTION. 31 

1903 The Monrovia Weekly, 

The National Echo (governmental). 

(1905) The Liberia Btdletin. 

(1905) Liberia Gazette, 

The Agricultural World, Monrovia. P. O. Gray. 

(1907) The Monrovia Spectator, 

1907 The Silver Trumpet, Cape Palmas, quarterly. S. D. 
Ferguson, Jr. 
The Liberia Begister, Monrovia. John L. Morris. 

1911 The GuidCf Monrovia, monthly. F. Wilcom EUegor. 

1912 Liberia Official Gazette, Monrovia, monthly. 

Christian Advocate, 

CavaUa Messenger, 

Sons of Cape Palmas. 

Parenthesis indicates that the periodical was printed at least 
during the enclosed date. 

7. The importance of education in the Black 
Bepublic is by no means overlooked, but it has always 
been difficult to raise the money to conduct schools. 
The office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is 
a Cabinet position. In 1912 ninety-one schools were 
under his direction. There are many mission schools 
in the Republic, some of them of high grade, and all 
of them doing a useful work. Liberia College has had 
an existence of a half century, and most of the men 
of prominence in the later history of the Republic 
have received instruction within its walls; it has re- 
ceived- a partial endowment from private American 
sources, but is also assisted by financial aid from the 
government. As education is one of the most serious 
problems facing the Republic, it will be discussed un- 
der a separate heading, and further comment may 
be delayed. 

8. The Liberians are a very religious community ; 
the Bible is read with old-fashioned devotion ; Theol- 
ogy is of the orthodox and rigid type ; Sunday is a day 
of rest and religious duty, and Sabbath desecration 
approaches the dangerous. There are churches in all 
the settlements, and in Monrovia and the other cities 
several denominations are represented. The Protes- 
tant Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, African Meth- 
odist, Biaptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran denomina- 



32 LIBERIA. 

tions are represented either by independent churches 
or by mission work. The emotional nature of the 
negro is well known, and the religion which ministers 
to them in Liberia is emotional to a high degree ; re- 
vivals are common — in fact they recur probably at 
annual intervals — and are accompanied by all the dis- 
jpilsys of extravagant and explosive demonstration 
which once were common among the negroes of our 
southern states and earlier among white populations 
in the north. Conviction of sin and the attainment 
of glory are the two chief ends sought in these reviv- 
ing efforts. 

9. Some facts in regard to the history of churches 
in Liberia may prove of interest. The first church 
established was Baptist in 1821. It had been organ- 
ized in this country among emigrants about to sail 
to the land of hope ; in its membership was the famous 
Lott Carey, who served as leader and preacher. The 
denomination has had a varied history in Liberia ; it 
spread rather rapidly and at one time was widely 
developed; it suffered some decline thereafter, but 
still has several congregations; it is strongest in 
Montserrado and Bassa Counties; it maintains a 
flourishing Sunday school in Monrovia. 

In 1825 the famous Basle Mission undertook an 
establishment in Liberia, several missionaries having 
been sent out from Switzerland. Considerable corre- 
spondence took place between the oflScers of the Mis- 
sion Society and the Colonization Society, and some 
of the missionaries visited the United States before 
going to Liberia; these Swiss missionaries suffered 
much from disease and death; the effort was con- 
tinued for some time, but eventually the work was 
transferred to Sierra Leone, and Liberia was left 
unoccupied. 

The Methodist Episcopal denomination entered 
Liberia in 1832. It has continued in active work 
from that date until the present time; the present 
missionary bishop for Africa is Joseph Crane Hart- 
zell', whose residence is Funchal, Madeira, and whose 



DESCRIPTION. 33 

field includes Liberia, Angola, and Madeira on the 
west coat, and Rhodesia and Portuguese Africa on 
the east coast. A resident bishop (colored) is main- 
tained at Monrovia, who is at present Isaiah B. Scott, 
a native of Kentucky, educated in the United States. 
The work is full of life and much headway is making. 
The Beport of 1912 announces work at 49 different 
stations in four districts — Bassa and Sinoe, Gape 
Palmas, Monrovia, Saint Paul River Districts. There 
were 15 foreign missionaries, 3 other foreign workers, 
45 ordained and 86 unordained native preachers^ 
4317 members. One College, 1 High School and 
29 elementary schools were reported, with a total 
of 63 teachers and 1882 scholars. The work is well 
sustained and $11,576 was contributed during the 
year in the direction of self-support. The first mis- 
sionary sent into this field was Melville B. Cox, who 
lived but a few months after his arrival. It is an 
interesting fact that this Liberian mission is the first 
foreign mission of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

The first Presbyterian missionary to Liberia, John 
B. Pinney, organized a church in the colony in 1833 ; 
its first building was dedicated in 1838 ; a Presbytery 
was organized in 1848, but was soon dissolved for lack 
of a legal quorum; it was organized again in 1851, 
when there were three churches in the country — ^Mon- 
rovia, Greenville, Clay- Ashland ; the work was at first 
a purely mission work, especially directed towards 
the aborigines; there were many deaths among the 
early missionaries, and in 1842 the policy was estab- 
lished of sending only colored preachers ; white men, 
however, were sent again in 1849. The mission main- 
tained churches and schools, including the Alexander 
High School at Monrovia. The work was continued 
under considerable discouragement, both white and 
black missionaries dying in considerable numbers, 
until 1899, when it was abandoned by the mother 
church. Presbyterianism, however, did not die, but 
has continued under local direction and with self- 
support up to the present. It is reported that, in 

8. 



34 LIBERIA. 

1904, there were ten clergymen, nine churches, 450 
members, and 437 scholars on its lists. From an his- 
torical sketch put out by the Presbyterian Board, we 
quote the following : * * In 1894 the Board of Foreign 
Missions resolved that its wisest policy in regard to 
the Liberian church would be to commit their support 
to the zeal and devotion of their own members. In 
pursuance of this resolve the amount of aid was grad- 
ually diminished, until in 1899 the entire responsi- 
bility was given over to the Presbytery of West 
Africa. The latest report shows that the work has 
not fallen oflf in consequence. There are now fifteen 
churches with about 400 members. This little flock 
of Liberian Presbyterians greatly need the prayers 
of Christians in America, that they may be kept faith- 
ful and pure, and use aright their exceptional oppor- 
tunities for mission work among the pagan tribes.'' 
A very pious prayer, but it would be interesting to 
know how genuinely the American Presbyterians feel 
aught of interest in, and sympathy with, **this little 
flock.'' It is possible that, if the flock is to ''use 
aright its exceptional opportunities for mission work 
among the pagan tribes," an occasional expression 
might be a stimulus to them. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church began its work 
with a little school for natives in the Cape Palmas 
District in 1836. The work has prospered notably, 
and Bishop Ferguson in his latest annual report re- 
ported 26 clergymen, 25 lay readers, 46 catechists 
and teachers, of whom 21 were native Africans; he 
had 479 baptisms in the year, of whom 423 were from 
heathenism. The present number of communicants 
is 2404, two-thirds of whom are native Africans; the 
mission maintained twenty-two day schools and nine- 
teen boarding schools with an attendance of 1210 in 
the one, and 643 in the other. The work of this mis- 
sion is approaching the point of self-support. 

The Lutherans began their work in Liberia in 1860. 
It has been largely educational work; it centers at 
the Muhlenburg Boys'* School, which, in 1911, re- 



DESCRIPTION. 35 

ported 145 boarding pupils, and 13 day pupils; at 
the Girls' School in Harrisbui^ there were 61 board- 
ing pupils and 17 day pupils; the mission maintains 
three schools in the interior, with a total of 71 board- 
ing and 6 day pupils. One of the strong features of 
their work is that they encourage the boys to labor. 
''In vacation time they remain in the schools and put 
in their time on the farm, picking coffee, cutting and 
clearing land ; some of them also worked in the work- 
shops and in other ways around the mission, rowing 
the boats and making themselves generally useful. 
The Girls' School carries out similar plans of educa- 
tion for the girls." This mission attempts to aid in 
its own support by actual production; the proceeds 
of its coffee sales during the year of 1911 were some- 
thing like $1,700, $1,000 of which amount was used 
in the installation of a water-power plant. The mis- 
sion sets an example in advanced methods which can 
be helpful to the Republic at large ; in reporting work, 
they say: ** Until a few years ago, our coffee was all 
hulled by an old-fashioned mill consisting of two flat 
stones similar to the burrs of the old flour mills with 
which our parents were familiar. This was crude and 
slow, though it did its work fairly well. The chief 
objection to its use was the large number of grains 
which were broken. Five or six years ago a large 
iron mill was installed, which effected a great saving 
both in time and expense, and turned out coffee in 
more marketable condition. An improved fanning 
machine, differing from the grain fanners in America 
only in the screens used, was put in beside the huUer. 
By this machine we can grade the coffee satisfactorily 
as to size of grain desired." If only Liberian planters 
had equally kept pace with the treatment of their 
coffee harvest, the market would not have suffered so 
severely as it has. The policy of this mission is to 
locate a married couple as missionaries at interior 
points separated from each other by considerable dis- 
tances; these places are to be stations and head- 
quarters within populations estimated at about 



36 LIBERU. 

150,000 persons ; it is a capital plan and should exer- 
cise wide influence. In connection with the mission 
a store is conducted which not only maintains itself, 
but leaves a profit of some hundreds of dollars yearly ; 
a tailor-shop, shoe-shop, a blacksmith-shop, and a 
doctor's oflSce, are also maintained, which not only 
care for themselves, but add somewhat to the income. 
On the whole, the work and plans of this mission are 
markedly practical. 

The last mission in order of establishment is the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church Mission, 
founded under Bishop Turner. It has been success- 
ful under the direction of Bishop Turner, Bishop 
Moore, and Bishop Shaffer. Its superintendent is 
the Rev. L. C. Curtis ; it has five church buildings, 16 
ordained and 3 unordained preachers, 3 missionary 
teachers, 501 members. It has an industrial school 
with 100 acres of land on the St. Paul's River. It is 
the only one of all the missions which originates with 
colored men and which is carried through without 
white assistance. 

(JovERNMBNT. — 1. The Declaration of Independ- 
ence of Liberia was adopted on July 26, 1847. It is 
a human document of extraordinary interest. As a 
basis for it, the declarers state their case in the fol- 
lowing words: **We the people of the Republic of 
Liberia, were originally inhabitants of the United 
States of North America. In some parts of that coun- 
try we were debarred by law from all rights and privi- 
leges of men — in other parts, public sentiment, more 
powerful than law, ground us down. We were every- 
where shut out from all civil offices. We were ex- 
cluded from all participation in the government. We 
were taxed without our consent. We were compelled 
to contribute to the resources of the country, which 
gave us no protection. We were made a separate and 
distinct class, and against us every avenue of im- 
provement was effectually closed. Strangers from all 
lands, of a color different from ours, were preferred 
before us. We uttered our complaints, but they were 



DESCRIPTION. 37 

unattended to, or met only by alleging the peculiar 
institution of the country. All hope of a favorable 
change in our country was thus whoUy extinguished 
in our bosoms, and we looked about with anxiety for 
some asylum from the deep degradation.'' The whole 
document is well worth reading. 

2. The Constitution was adopted on the same day, 
which date is celebrated annually as the birthday of 
the nation. The document is largely patterned after 
our own, but presents some interesting points of dif- 
ference. Among these, three deserve special mention. 
Slavery is absolutely prohibited throughout the Re- 
public. Citizenship is limited to negroes or persons 
of negro descent; in the original Constitution the 
wording was, that it was confined to ** persons of 
color," but, as curious questions gradually arose in 
regard to who should be considered ** persons of 
color," an amendment was adopted, changing the 
expression to *' negroes or those of negro descent." 
The ballot is cast by male citizens, twenty-one years 
of age, and owning real estate. 

3. This Constitution remained without amend- 
ment for si^dy years. In the beginning the term of 
president, vice-president, and representatives had 
been fixed at two years, and that of senators at four ; 
experience demonstrated that these terms were too 
short and a vigorous agitation to lengthen them took 
place. The Liberians are a conservative people and 
look back with pride to the doings of the ''fathers"; 
very strong feeling was aroused at the suggestion of 
changing the wording of the sacred document which 
they had left. In. time, however, sufficient sentiment 
was developed to lead to the submission of amend- 
ments at the election of 1907; the amendments were 
carried by a vote of 5112 to 1467. By these amend- 
ments the term of oflSce of president, vice-president, 
and representatives was extended to four years and 
that of senators to six. 

4. The flag of the Republic has six red stripy 
with five white stripes alternately displayed longi- 



38 LIBERIA. 

tudinally; in the upper angle of the flag, next to the 
staff, a field of blue, square, covers five stripes in 
depth ; in the centre of the field is a lone white star. 

5. The great seal of the Kepublic bears the fol- 
lowing design : — a dove on the wing with an open 
scroll in its claws ; a ship under sail upon the ocean ; 
the sun rising from the water; a palm-tree, with a 
plough and spade at its base; above, the words: 
Republic of Liberia; below, the national motto: The 
Love of Liberty Brought Us Here. 

6. The government of Liberia consists of three co- 
ordinate branches — ^the Executive, Legislative, and 
Judicial. The executive branch consists of the Presi- 
dent, Vice-President, and a Cabinet of seven mem- 
bers. The Legislature consists of two houses — ^the 
Senate and the House of Representatives. The judi- 
cial branch consists of a Supreme Court with a Chief 
Justice and two Associates, and Circuit Courts under 
the supervision of the Supreme Court. The Presi- 
dent, Vice-President, and Congressmen are elected; 
all other officers of state are appointed by the Presi- 
dent, subject to the approval of the Senate. 

7. The President and Vice-President are elected 
by the voters for a period of four years. The Presi- 
dent 's Cabinet consists of seven members — Secretary 
of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of the 
Interior, Secretary of War and Navy, Postmaster- 
General, Attorney-General, Superintendent of the 
Department of Education. These officers have the 

> usual functions connected with such positions. The 
Vice-President is President of the Senate.* 



iThe present President of the Bepublic is Daniel Edward 
Howard. He is the third ** native son'* to hold that office — 
the first having been President Johnson. President Howard's 
Cabinet consi^s of the following members: Secretary of 
State, C. D. B. King; Secretary of the Treasury, John L. Morris 
(son of the Secretary of the Interior) ; Secretary of the Interior, 
James Morris ; Secretary of War and Navy, Wilmot E. Dennis ; 
Postmaster-General, Isaac Moort; Attorney-General, Samuel A. 
Boss; Superintendent of the Department of Education, Benja- 



DESCRIPTION. 39 

8. The Legislature consists of the Senate and the 
House of Bepresentatives. The Senate consists of 
eight members, two from each county; they are 
elected for a term of six years. The House of Repre- 
sentatives at the present time includes fourteen mem- 
bers, apportioned as follows: Montserrado County, 
four; Grand Bassa County, three; Sinoe County, 
three; Maryland County, three; Cape Mount Terri- 
tory, one. Notwithstanding its small size, this Legis- 
lature has as broad a range of matters to consider as 
any legislative body elsewhere ; thirty-two committees 
deal with matters ranging from foreign affairs and 
commerce through military and naval affairs, native 
African affairs, and pensions, to engrossing and en- 
rolling. Naturally in such a multiplicity of commit- 
tees — ^most of which consist of five members — ample 
opportunity is found for the development of political 
ability among the members; it seems, however, as if 
membership on twenty-two committees, a case of 
which occurs in the present standing committee roll, 
was over-ambition or over-loading. In case of neces- 
sity the President, Vice-President, and Cabinet offi- 
cers may be impeached. Impeachment must originate 
in the House of Representatives ; the trial is made by 
the Senate, over which at the time the Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court presides. 

9. The judicial branch of the government consists 
of the Supreme Court, with a Chief Justice and two 
Associates, and of Circuit Courts with rotating judges 
under the supervision of the Supreme Court. All 
judges are appointed by the President. The Supreme 
Court holds two sessions annually ; the Circuit Courts 
hold quarterly. 

10. Mr. George W. Ellis, for a number of years 
secretary of our legation at Monrovia, and exception- 
ally weU informed regarding Liberian affairs, states 



min W, Payne (educated in the U. S.). The Vice-President 
is Samuel G. Harmon, of Grand Bassa, whose father was vice- 
prefddent in 1876. 



40 LIBERIA. 

that the political authority of the President is exer- 
cised in the counties and territories by a governor 
appointed by the Executive, who is called Superin- 
tendent. In the interior the President is represented 
by a Commissioner, who presides over each commis- 
sioner-district, and who associates with himself the 
native chiefs in the control or government of the 
native peoples in his district. In some instances this 
Commissioner has judicial functions, from which an 
appeal lies to the Quarterly and Supreme Courts. 
The authority of the Commissioner is supported by 
a detachment of the Liberian Frontier Police Force, 
with head-quarters at the Monrovia barracks. 

11. In the matter of lesser courts there are Quar- 
terly, Probate, and Justice courts, for each of the 
counties and territories. The judges can only be re- 
moved for cause, the President suspending, and his 
suspension meeting the approval of the Legislature. 
Monrovia recently abolished the Justices of the Peace 
and established a Municipal Court with a special 
judge, whose tenure of office is during good behavior. 

12. Politics is in great vogue. The Liberians 
have never liked to work. Since the establishment of 
the colony, agriculture even has had but slight attrac- 
tions for the people. It is not strange, all things con- 
sidered. The ancestors of these people used to work 
hard in the fields before they went over there; one 
reason they went was that they wanted to escape field- 
labor. They had always been accustomed to see their 
masters live in ease, without soiling their hands with 
toil ; when they became their own masters, they natu- 
rally wanted to be like the men to whom they had 
been accustomed to look up with respect. Trade has 
always been in high repute. It was easy for the new- 
comers io trade with the natives of the country and 
rapidly acquire a competence. So far as work was 
concerned, there were plenty of '*bush niggers'' to 
be had cheaply. There is, however, another way of 
escape from manual labor besides trade — ^that is pro- 
fessional life. Everywhere people who do not wish 



DESCRIPTION. 41 

to work with their hands may seek a learned profes- 
sion; it is so here with us — ^it is so there with them. 
The Liberians would rather be ** reverends" or doc- 
tors or lawyers than to work with their hands. Of 
all the professions, however^ law seems to be the favor- 
ite. The number of lawyers in Liberia is unneces- 
sarily large, and lawyers naturally drift into politics; 
they aim to become members of Congress or judges 
of the Supreme Court or members of the Cabinet or 
President of the Republic. It is unfortunate that so 
many of them are anxious for that kind of life; but 
they are skilled in it, and we have nothing to teach 
them when it comes to politics. 

13. Ellis says: '^ . . the most notable char- 
acteristic of Liberian government is the existence 
practically of only one political party. The reasons 
for this no doubt are many, but important, if not chief 
among them, is the economic depression which fol- 
lowed the decline in the price of Liberian coflPee. 
Coflfee was the overshadowing industry of the Re- 
public. The Liberian planters had invested all the 
capital they had in the coffee industry, and when 
coffee went down in the early nineties, the different 
Liberian communities were thrown into such a paraly- 
sis of hard times that they have not recovered to this 
day. Disheartened and financially distressed, for- 
merly strong, self-sustaining, and independent, 
Liberian planters one after another abandoned their 
plantations and transferred their time and attention 
from coffee and the farm to politics and office-seeking. 
And while something is due to the ability of the 
administrations to undermine opposition by captur- 
ing its capable leaders through the charm of political 
preferment, something due to the smallness of the 
civilized population and the disposition of voter and 
leader alike to be on the winning side, yet, economic 
depression is at the foundation of the one-party sys- 
tem which now obtains in Liberia." 

14. Still there has ever been a nominal division 
into parties. Again we quote from Ellis: **Thu8 



42 UBERIA. 

after the adoption of the Liberiau constitution the 
people divided themselves into two parties under the 
same names as those which obtained at the time in 
the United States — ^the Republican and the Whig 
parties. For some time the Republican Party has 
ceased to exist in Liberian politics. The opposition 
to the Whig Party has been for the most part unor- 
ganized, without wise and resourceful leaders, and 
without funds adequate to compete with the dominant 
Whig administrations in national campaigns. But 
like the present Republican Party of the United 
States, the Liberian Whigs have met all the Liberian 
diflSculties during the past thirty years or more. The 
Whigs had been progressive, and inspired by wise 
and distinguished statesmen, the Liberian Whigs have 
repeatedly addressed themselves with success to the 
Liberian voters. Opposition to the Whig Party in 
Liberia at the polls seems now to have little or no 
chance of success, so that nomination on a Whig ticket 
is equivalent to election." 

15. All this is true, but after all, at the last elec- 
tion there was a considerable awakening of party 
spirit; it was a bitter political contest. The cry of 
fraud was loudly raised ; seats in Congress were chal- 
lenged by more than half the total number of mem- 
bership ; the question was seriously asked how an in- 
vestigation would be possible on account of the lack 
of unimplicated to conduct it. This outburst of feel- 
ing and this cry of fraud, came at a bad moment ; the 
nation was appealing for our financial assistance; it 
was feared that a bad impression might be produced 
by the condition of disharmony ; under this fear, per- 
sonal feeling was for the time suppressed and the 
demand for investigation dropped. 

16. We have already said that the Liberians are 
skilled in politics and that we have but little to teach 
them. They know quite well what graft means. In 
fact, graft of the finest kind exists and has existed 
among the native Africans from time beyond the 
memory of man; if the Americo-Liberians could 



DESCRIPTION. 43 

have escaped from our own republic without ideas in 
this direction, such would quickly have been devel- 
oped through contact with their native neighbors. 
Unfortunately there is considerable opportunity for 
graft in the black Republic. The actual salaries of 
public officers and congressmen are very small. Im- 
portant concessions are, however, all the time being 
demanded by wealthy outside interests. English, 
German, French, American promoters have always 
something to propose to that little legislature, and 
they never come with empty hands. One of the great- 
est dangers which the nation faces is found in these 
great schemes of exploitation offered from outside. 
The natural resources of the country are very great; 
but they should be, so far as possible, conserved for 
the benefit of the people and the nation. The temp- 
tation to betray the nation's interest for present 
personal advantage is always very great. 

Economics — 1. We have already called attention 
to the attitude of the Americo-Liberian toward man- 
ual labor and have shown that it is, on the whole, 
natural under the circumstances. Where there are 
sharp contrasts between the elements of society, as 
there are in Liberia between the Americo-Liberians, 
the Vai, the Kru, and the * * Bush Niggers, ' ' there is 
bound to develop more or less of caste feeling. This 
was inevitable with i)eople who had themselves come 
from a district where caste was so marked as in our 
southern states. The natives have never been consid- 
ered the full equals of the immigrants nor treated as 
brothers; they are ** hewers of wood" and ** drawers 
of water''; they are utilized as house servants. It 
is convenient to be able to fill one 's house with * * bush 
niggers" as servants, and the settlers have done so 
from the early days of settlement. Why indeed shQ.uld 
one himself work where life is easy and where money 
is quickly made through trade ? This feeling of caste 
showed itself in various curious ways — thus the colo- 
nists soon fell into the habit of calling themselves 



44 LIBERIA. 

'* white men" in contrast to the negroes of the 
country. 

2. For the present and for some time still the 
chief dependence of the country is necessarily trade 
in raw products. Wealth must come from palm nuts 
and oil, piassava, rubber, and the like. In such prod- 
ucts the Republic has enormous wealth. These can 
only be secured from the interior through native help. 
In order that this kind of trade develop, it must be 
stimulated by legitimate means. At present it is not 
as flourishing as it might be. The natives are not 
steady workers; they bring in products when they 
feel like it or when they have a pressing need of 
money; trails are bad, and transportation of raw 
products for great distances is hardly profitable. 
Yet, if the country is to develop, this production must 
be steadily increased. 

3. Ultimately Liberia must depend on agriculture. 
With a fertile soil, a tropical climate, abundant rain- 
fall — ^its possibilities in the direction of agricultural 
production are enormous. This industry will be the 
permanent dependence of the country. It must be 
the next in order of development. Serious develop- 
ment of manufacturing appears remote. Agriculture 
has always been neglected ; Ashmun pleaded with the 
natives to go into it and prepared a little pamphlet 
of directions applicable to the local conditions; 
friends have begged the people ever since to pay less 
attention to trade and more to cultivation; all in 
vain. It is true, however, that ever since the. days 
of early settlement, there has been some attention 
given to the matter of field culture. There was a 
time when there were extensive plantations of coflPee 
and fields planted with sugar-cane. For a time these 
plantations were successful, but hard luck came ; for- 
eign competition arose, careless and wasteful methods 
were pursued, and a paralysis seems to have fallen 
upon the industry. Sons of those who once were suc- 
cessful planters have moved into Monrovia and en- 
tered politics. In the old days there were native vil- 



DESCRIPTION. 45 

lages in the vicinity of the capital city ; then bullocks 
were constantly to be seen in the Monrovian market 
and fresh meat was easily secured ; to-day the native 
towns have retreated into the interior, and Monrovia 
depends upon the steamers for fresh meat supplies. 

4. Through the over-emphasis placed upon trade, 
there has grown up a needless importation of foreign 
articles. It is not only meat that is brought in from 
other lands; there was a time when the making of 
shingles was a fairly developed industry — ^to-day cor- 
rugated roofing comes from the outside world ; one of 
the chief foods of the Liberians is rice — ^it is also one 
of the chief crops among the native tribes — ^the native 
rice is of most excellent quality — ^yet the rice eaten 
by Americo-Liberians is imported from foreign coun- 
tries. There are many articles which might as well 
or better be produced in Liberia, furnishing employ- 
ment and a source of wealth for many of the popu- 
lation, which to-day are imported in poorer quality 
and higher prices from outside. 

5. There is a widespread feeling that Liberia has 
great mineral wealth. No doubt a part of this is 
justified; much of it, however, is merely due to the 
fact of ignorance regarding the interior of the coun- 
try. There are surely gold and copper; there is iron, 
no doubt, in abundance; we have already mentioned 
the possibility of diamonds. Under such conditions 
it is natural that men throughout the whole Republic 
are ever dreaming of making lucky finds. Anything 
found anywhere, which chances to have lustre, is con- 
sidered precious and leads to hopes of sudden and 
enormous wealth. This widespread expectation of 
always finding a bonanza is certainly unfortunate 
for any population ; it is unfortunate for Liberia, but 
just enough of actual mineral wealth will always be 
discovered to keep it vigorous. It would be well in- 
deed for the black Republic if it were lacking com- 
pletely in mineral wealth. It is likely that the dis- 
covery of valuable deposits will harm the country far 
more than help it. Such discoveries are certain to 



46 LIBERIA. 

enlist rapacious foreign capital and to lead to con- 
stant interference and ultimate intervention. If 
white men in Dutch South Africa were unable to re- 
sist the aggressions of avaricious English miners, 
what chance can the small black Bepublic stand f The 
very day I wrote this passage, I received a letter from 
a well-informed Americo-Liberian. He closes with 
these words: '^I am told that the English have 
opened up a gold mine in the rear of Careysburg on 
the St. Paul's River. This is the last settlement on 
the river, thirty miles inland. Of course, it is by 
grant of the legislature, but all based on fraud, as 
I am told. The yield, I learn, is very great, of which 
Liberia sees and knows nothing. The whole thing is 
guarded by an English force.'' I have no means of 
knowing how much truth there may be in this state- 
ment of my correspondent. Just such things, how- 
ever, do occur, will occur, and such things are fraught 
with danger. 

6. It is common to speak in terms of pessimism 
regarding the economic conditions of Liberia. This 
has been true for years. In 1881, Stetson spoke as 
follows in his lAberian Republic as It Is: **This con- 
dition of hopeless bankruptcy is fraught with danger 
to the existence of the Republic. The cords which 
bind her to England are being drawn closer and closer, 
her exports go largely to England, her imports are 
from England, her loans are from England, and what 
few favors she has to grant, or are received of her, 
are to English capitalists; notably a charter recently 
given to an English company for a railroad extending 
two hundred miles back from Monrovia, the capital, 
and designed ultimately to connect that port with the 
head-waters of the Niger. English influence and gun- 
boats may at any moment settle the question of the 
future of Liberia." It will be seen that this was 
written after the time when Liberia solicited her first 
loan from England — ^the notorious loan of 1870. 

7. Thirty years have passed since then. England 
has encroached, but she has not yet absorbed the 
Liberian Republic. Meantime, while conditions are 



DESCRIPTION. 47 

far from satisfactory, they have improved; England 
still has large relations with Liberia, but there has 
been a wise development of common interests with 
Germany since 1870. To-day Germany has greater 
shipping interests, greater trade interests, greater 
prospects than has Britain. Germany may some time 
become a menace, but certainly for the present she is 
a safer friend for Liberia than England. So far as 
the present financial circumstances in Liberia are con- 
cerned, a few figures may be quoted. For the ten 
years, from 1893 to 1903, the receipts of the nation 
amounted to $2,243,148, and the expenses to $2,171,- 
556 ; an average annually of something like $225,000 
of income, $217,000 of outgo. In 1905 receipts were 
$357,000 and expenditures $340,000. In 1911 the in- 
come rose to $443,255 and the estimated outgo was 
probably $481,954. These figures are very far from 
discouraging, and there is no reason why they should 
not be notably increased by judicious management. 

8. We reproduce a little table of the receipts from 
customs. It will well repay careful examination. 

It will be seen that during the short space of time 
represented by this table the receipts in customs have 
more than doubled. By fair dealings with the natives 
of the interior and by the improvement of roads, 
this income can be greatly multiplied. 

9. It is hardly to be expected, in a population such 
a« that with which we are here dealing, that there 
should be a large development in postal service. The 
statistics of the four years, from 1907 to 1910 show 
us the general movement of postal matter. The total 
amount is by no means insignificant and a fair growth 
is evident. 

POSTAL STATISTICS 

Articles 1907 1908 1909 1910 

Letters: ordinary 100,979 95,186 94,481 104,313 

Letters: registered 9,052 9,768 9,421 10,458 

Postal cards 15,142 10,877 15,821 18,386 

Ptircel post 2,888 3,539 2,332 2,895 

Samples 254 299 269 385 

General movement. . .128,315 119,669 122,324 136,437 



48 LIBERIA. 

10. The Republic is now in telegraphic connection 
with the outside world. Gerard tells us that ''the 
OermanrSotUh-American Telegraph Society, with a 
capital stock of 30,000,000 marks, has recently laid a 
cable at Monrovia which will place the negro capital 
herafter in rapid communication with the civilized 
world. Up to this time telegraphic messages addressed 
to Liberia were delivered at Freetown, and there were 
entrusted to the ordinary postal service, upon the 
semi-monthly mail-boats conducting business between 
Sierra Leone and the Grain Coast. Constructed 
by the North German Marine Cable Factory of 
Nordenham-am-Weser, the cable, destined to draw 
the little Guinean Republic from its isolation, starts 
from Emden, passes under sea to the island Burkom, 
connects at TeneriflPe, in order then to reach Monrovia, 
from whence it is finally directed to Pemambuco, the 
terminal point of the line. On the other hand, the 
South American Cable Co, of London, a French society 
with a French director and supported by French 
capital, has obtained a concession with a view to the 
establishment of a submarine cable connecting Conakry 
(Guinea) with Grand Bassam (Ivory Coast), touch- 
ing at Monrovia, and it is interesting to notice in 
passing that there has been arranged, in connection 
with this matter, between Germany and France a 
friendly relationship permitting the German cable to 
touch at Brest, allowing the French installation to be 
accomplished through the German cable, and obliging 
the two rival companies to have similar tariffs and 
giving each of them the right of using the apparatus 
of the other in case of the breaking of its own con- 
nection. It is also to the French govemmentthat the 
exclusive right has been given of establishing a wire- 
less telegraph station which will connect Monrovia 
with the Eiffel Tower via Dakar and Casablanca, while 
posts, constructed at Conakry, Tabou, and Cotonou 
will give origin to radio-telegraphic connections 
between Liberia, French Guinea, the Ivory Coast, and 
Dahomey; the importance of this project, to-day in 



DESCRIPTION. 49 

cou^ of execution, will escape no one, since one will 
understand that there is question here of installing the 
Marconi system in Madagascar and at Timbuctu, and 
of thus enclosing the whole black continent in a net- 
work of rapid communication of which France alone 
will have control." 

All three of these enterprises have been successfully 
carried through, and to-day Liberia is in easy con- 
nection with every part of the civilized world. It is 
a notable step forward. 

11. Five lines of steamers make regular stops upon 
the coast of Liberia. Chief of these is the great 
Woermann Line, of Hamburg. Two regular sailings 
weekly in both directions touch at Monrovia. Next 
in importance are the British steamships controlled 
by Elder Dempster and Co. They have a combina- 
tion consisting of the African Steamship Co. and the 
British African Steam-Navigation Co. These boats 
make two weekly sailings from Liverpool and one 
monthly sailing from Hamburg. Nor are these the 
only landings made by these lines at Liberian ports. 
It is probable that the Woermann Line makes three 
hundred calls annually, and the Elder Dempster Lines 
two hundred and fifty, at Liberian ports. A recent 
arrangement which, if given fair attention, promises 
a notable development, has been entered into between 
these two companies, whereby every two months a 
boat sails from New York to Monrovia and return; 
The English and German lines alternate in supply- 
ing this steamer. Besides these two lines of chief 
importance, three other lines make stops at Monrovia 
— ^the Spanish Trans-Atlantic Co,, of Barcelona, 
Fraissinet and Co,, of Marseilles, France, and the 
Belgian Maritime Co. of Congo, from Antwerp. 

12. Considering the dangers of its coast, the light- 
house service of the Republic is far from satisfactory. 
The old light-house at Monrovia, for years a disgrace, 
has been replaced by a more modem apparatus; at 
Grand Bassa a light-house was erected at the private 
expense of Mr. S. G. Harmon, a successful Liberian 



50 LIBERIA. 

merchant, now the Vice-President of the Republic; 
at Cape Palmas a good light-house has been erected, 
visible at all times to a distance of six miles — this cost 
about $9000 and was a gift from the French authori- 
ties. It is somewhat doubtful whether it was good 
policy to accept a gift from a neighbor, who has made 
definite efforts to crowd Liberians out of the Cavalla 
River, which forms the natural boundary between the 
Grain Coast (Liberia) and the Ivory Coast (French). 

13. The whole west coast of Africa has for centur- 
ies depended only on foreign trade. Portuguese, 
Dutch, French, English, Germans, have all played 
their part. Most of these nations still have interests 
in that portion of the world. So far as the Liberian 
Republic is concerned, representatives of foreign 
houses have numerous trading-posts upon its coast. 
The house of A. Woermann has factories at Monrovia, 
Cape Mount, Bassa, Sinoe, and Cape Palmas. J. W. 
West (Hamburg) is established at Monrovia, Cape 
Mount, Grand Bassa, and Sinoe. Wiechers and Helm 
are at Monrovia and Cape Palmas. Wooden and Co. 
(Liverpool), Patterson and Zachonis (Liverpool), 
Victor and Huber, C. F. Wilhelm Jantzen (Ham- 
burg), and the American Trading Co. (established 
only in 1911), are among those who trade in Liberia. 

14. A number of development companies have at 
different times been formed with the intention of 
exploiting the black Republic. Many of these have 
been fraudulent enterprises and have come to noth- 
ing ; some, started in good faith, have failed ; a few — 
a very few out of many — ^have developed promisingly. 
The English Liberian Rubier Corporation has a farm 
of 1000 acres with 150,000 rubber-trees already 
planted ; this was begun in 1904 and has now reached 
the period of yielding ; in 1912 it was expected that it 
would prove a paying proposition. The Liberian 
Trading Co, (English) are exporting mahogany and 
other valuable woods. They are opening commercial 
houses in different parts of the country and seeking 
concessions from the government to open roads. The 



DESCRIPTION. 51 

Liberian Development Co. (English) discovered gold 
and diamonds in 1908 and are now importing heavy- 
machinery to work their mines, together with mate- 
rials for a railway to them, and have already laid part 
of the railway ; this is probably the company to which 
my correspondent, already quoted, refers. One of the 
latest of the development companies is the Liberia^n^ 
American Produce Co,, which was chartered in 1910 
by the national legislature with the approval of the 
president of the Republic for a period of sixty years. 
It was given large and varied powers, among them 
being the right to build for itself or for the govern- 
ment, roads, bridges, harbor-improvements, railways, 
etc. ; and the company was granted a concession of a 
hundred square miles with tiie privilege of taking up 
this land in any sized blocks, anywhere in the country 
by simply filing in the State Deparment a description 
of the lands thus taken up. The company has already 
selected four square miles of land containing mineral 
deposits, and plans to start active operations in trade, 
agriculture, and mining. 

15. As the subject of the financial outlook of the 
Republic will come up again for consideration, we 
are here only completing our descriptive picture of 
the Republic. She has long been in debt ; her resources 
have been mortgaged; her customs-houses have been 
in the hands of receivers. She has recently consoli- 
dated all her debts, foreign and domestic, and has 
secured a loan through the kind offices of the United 
States of $1,700,000. This loan has been guaranteed 
by the customs-house receipts, and the customs-service 
is now under the direction of an international receiver- 
ship. 



HISTORY 

Africa is the Land of Black Men, and to Africa they must 
and will come. — ^John Kizell. 

Tell my brethren to come — not to fear — ^this land is good — 
it only wants men to possess it. — Daniel Ookeb. 

1821-1828. 

The American Colonization Society was founded in 
Washington in December, 1816. To it Liberia is due. 
On the 23rd of December, 1816, the legislature of Vir- 
ginia requested the governor of the state to corres- 
pond with the President of the United States '*for 
the purpose of obtaining a territory on the coast of 
Africa, or at some other place not within any of the 
states, or territorial governments of the United States, 
to serve as an asylum for such persons of color as are 
now free, and may desire the same, and for those who 
may hereafter be emancipated within this common- 
wealth." A few days after this a meeting was held at 
Washington to which persons interested were invited. 
Bushrod Washington presided; Mr. Clay, Mr. Ran- 
dolph, and others took part in the discussions which 
ensued and which resulted in the organization of the 
American Colonization Society. Judge Washington 
was chosen president, a board of twelve managers 
were selected, together with seventeen vice-presidents 
from variqus states. The object of the Society was 
clearly set forth in the first and second articles of its 
constitution. ** Article 1. This society shall be called 
The American Society for Colonizing the Free People 
of Color of the United States. Article 2. The object 
to which attention is to be exclusively directed, is to 
promote and execute a plan of colonizing (with their 
consent) the free people of color residing in our coun- 

52 



HISTORY. 53 

try, in Africa, or such other place as Congress shall 
deem most expedient. And the Society shall act to 
effect this object in co-operation with the general 
government and such of the states as may adopt reg- 
ulations on the subject." 

We do not desire in the least to minimize the good, 
either of the intent or result, of the American Colo- 
nization Society. It is, however, only just to say that 
it was not a purely benevolent organization. Its 
membership included different classes. Of this Jay 
says: ** First, such as sincerely desire to afford the 
free blacks an asylum from the oppression they suffer 
here, and by their means to extend to Africa the 
blessings of Christianity and civilization, and who at 
the same time flatter themselves that colonization will 
have a salutary influence in accelerating the abolition 
of slavery; Secondly, such as expect to enhance the 
value and security of slave property, by removing the 
free blacks; and Thirdly, such as seek relief from 
a bad population, without the trouble and expense of 
improving it." As a matter of fact, the American 
Colonization Society was largely an organization of 
slave holders. Judge Washington was a southern 
man; of the seventeen vice-presidents twelve were 
from slave states; of the twelve managers all were 
slave holders. Through a period of years the Ameri- 
can Colonization Society and the Abolition Societies 
of the United States waged a furious conflict. The real 
purpose of the organization was to get rid of the free 
blacks at any cost, and the attitude of its members 
toward free blacks was repeatedly expressed in the 
strongest terms. Thus, General Harper, to whom the 
names Liberia and Monrovia were due, said: **Pree 
blacks are a greater nuisance than even slaves them- 
selves." Mercer, a vice-president of the Society, spoke 
of them as a ** horde of miserable people, — the objects 
of universal suspicion, — subsisting by plunder." 
Henry Clay, an original member of the Society and 
for many years vice-president, said : * * Of all classes 
of our i)opulation, the 'most vicious is that of the 



54 LIBEBU. 

free colored — contaminated themselves, they extend 
their vices to all around them." Again Clay said: 
**0f all the descriptions of our population, and of 
either portion of the African race, the free persons 
of color are by far, as a class, the most corrupt, de- 
praved, and abandoned." And yet these excellent 
gentlemen repeatedly stated that in sending free 
black men to Africa, they were actually combatting 
the slave trade and Christiaaizing the natives. Clay 
himself said, in the same speech in which he referred 
to the free blacks as ** corrupt, depraved, abandoned." 
* * * **The Society proposes to send out not one 
or two pious members of Christianity into a foreign 
land; but to transport annually, for an indefinite 
number of years, in one view of its scheme, 6,000, in 
another, 56,000 missionaries of the descendants of 
Africa itself, to communicate the benefits of our relig- 
ion and the arts." Stripped of all pretense, the facts 
were that the free blacks of the day were not wanted 
in America, and that they must somehow be got rid 
of; accordingly they were dumped upon the African 
west coast. 

This idea of recolonizing black men into Africa is 
not a new one; as far back as 1773, at which time 
slavery was common in New England, Dr. Samuel 
Hopkins became convinced of its wickedness and, 
with Dr. Stiles (afterwards president of Yale College) 
made an appeal to the public in behalf of some colored 
men whom he was preparing to send to Africa as mis- 
sionaries. The Revolutionary War interfered with 
his plau. In 1783 Dr. Thornton, of Washington, 
proposed a colonization scheme and organize^ about 
forty New England colored men to go to Africa; 
his scheme failed for lack of funds. The British 
Sierra Leone Company in 1786 organized its colony 
at Sierra Leone for freed blacks. When Thomas 
Jefferson was President, he made application to the 
Sierra Leone Company to receive American negroes, 
but his reqliest failed of effect. From 1800 to 1805 
the project of colonization was again discussed. Very 



HISTOBY. 55 

interesting was the work of Paul Cuflfy, bom in New 
Bedford, Mass., of negro and Indian parents ; he was 
a man of ability, gained considerable wealth, and 
owned a vessel; he induced about forty persons to 
embark with him for Sierra Leone in 1815 ; they were 
well received and settled permanently in that colony. 
Paul Cuffy had larger schemes of colonization and 
planned to transport a considerable number of Ameri- 
can negroes to Africa, but died before his plans were 
realized. 

In 1818 the Society sent Samuel J. Mills and 
Ebenezer Burgess to seek a suitable location for the 
colony. Samuel J. Mills was the young man to whom 
the work of foreign missions of the United States was 
largely due; after he graduated from college, he 
planned to establish a colony in the West ; he became 
interested in a seminary for the education of colored 
men, who should go to Africa as missionaries, at 
Parsippany, N. J. Mills and Burgess went by way 
of England, where they called upon various persons 
of prominence in the hope of receiving information 
and advice which might be of use to them. They 
sailed from the Downs, England, in February, 1818, 
and were in Sierra Leone before the end of March; 
they examined the conditions there with interest and 
then, in company with John Bjzell and a Mr. Martin, 
went farther down the coast; they reached Sherbro 
Island on the first of April and decided to found the 
settlement there. 

This John Kizell, who was with them as adviser 
and friend, was a black man, a native of the country 
some leagues in the interior from Sherbro. His father 
was a chief of some consequence and so was his 
uncle. They resided at different towns; and when 
Kizell was yet a boy he was sent by his father on a 
visit to his uncle who desired to have the boy with 
him. On the very night of his arrival the house was 
attacked. A bloody battle ensued in which his uncle 
and most of his people were killed. Some escaped, 
the rest were taken prisoners, and among the latter 
was Kizell. His father made every effort to release 



56 LIBERIA. 

him, offering slaves and ground for him; bnt his 
enemies declared that they would not give him up for 
any price, and that they would rather put him to 
death. He was taken to the Oallinhas, put on board 
of an English ship, and carried as one of a cargo of 
slaves to Charleston, S. C. — He arrived at Charleston 
a few years before that city was taken by Sir Henry 
Clinton. In consequence of the General's proclama- 
tion, he, with many other slaves, joined the royal 
standard. — ^Af ter the war he was remanded to 
Nova Scotia from which place he came to Africa in 
1792. Kizell had established a small colony of colored 
people on Sherbro Island. He had prospered in 
trade, built a church, and was preaching to his coun- 
trymen. 

Having accomplished the purpose of their journey, 
the commissioners started again for the United States. 
On the voyage Mills died. 

On March 3, 1819, the Congress of the United States 
passed an act which was of consequence to the cause 
of African colonization. It provided that the Presi- 
dent of the United States should have authority to 
seize any Africans captured from American or 
foreign vessels, attempting to introduce them into the 
United States in violence of law, and to return them 
to their own country. It provided also for the estab- 
lishment of a suitable agency on the African coast for 
the reception, subsistence, and comfort of these persons 
until they could be returned to their relatives, or 
provide for their own support. From the time of the 
passage of this act the government and the Society 
worked in practical co-operation. 

The first shipment of colonists took place in Feb- 
ruary, 1820, from New York, by the ship Elizabeth 
which had been chartered by the government. It 
carried two agents of the United States Government 
— ^Rev. Samuel Bacon and John P. Bankson; Dr. 
Samuel A. Crozer was sent as agent of the American 
Colonization Society ; 88 emigrants accompanied them, 
who 'had promised in return for their passage and 



HISTORY. 57 

other aid of the Government, to prepare suitable 
accommodations for such Africans as the Gk)vem- 
ment might afterwards send. The expedition went 
at first to Sierra Leone, thence to Sherbro Island, 
landing at Campelar, the point chosen by Mills and 
Burgess for settlement. The place was badly selected. 
Practically the whole company suffered frightfully 
from fever. Bacon, Bankson, and Crozer, all died, 
together with many of the colonists. 

A second party was sent out in 1821 in the 
Nautilus, a vessel chartered by the United States 
Government. It carried two agents of the govern- 
ment — J. B. Winn and Ephraim Bacon — and two 
agents of the colony — Joseph R. Andrus and Chris- 
tian Wiltberger. Some emigrants accompanied them. 
On their arrival at Sierra Leone, the emigrants were 
left at Fourah Bay, while Bacon and Andrus went on 
down the coast in search of a suitable situation for 
settlement. 

In this search they went as far as Grand Bassa. 
Soon after they returned to Sierra Leone, Mr. and 
Mrs. Bacon were invalided home; shortly afterwards 
Mr. and Mrs. Winn died of fever; thus Wiltberger 
was left alone in charge of the settlement, until Dr. 
Eli Ayres arrived as chief agent of the Society in 
the autumn. Wiltberger visited Sherbro, and finding 
the conditions of the settlers serious, he took them with 
him back to Fourah Bay, Sierra Leone. In December, 
Capt. Robert F. Stockton, of the Alligator, came to 
the coast with orders to co-operate so far as possible 
with the agents. Leaving Wiltberger in charge of the 
colonists at Fourah Bay, Ayres and Stockton made an 
exploration of the coast. On the 11th they reached 
Mesurado Bay, and being pleased with the appearance 
of the district, they sought a palaver with the native 
chiefs. Making their way through the jungle to the 
village of the most important chief, they found hun- 
dreds of people collected; negotiations were at once 
begun for land at the mouth of the Mesurado River, 
upon which a settlement might be made. The busi- 



58 LIBERIA. 

ness was not conducted without excitement and some 
danger, but Stockton appears to have been a man of 
parts, and finally a contract was drawn up and signed 
by six kings, with their marks, and by Ayres and 
Stockton. The territory secured included ail of the 
cape, the mouth of the river, and the land for some 
distance into the interior, although the boundaries 
were left indefinite. 

There was a mulatto trader living in this district, 
by the name of John S. Mill. His friendship was of 
importance to the enterprise in those early days. 
Mill was an African by birth, the son of an English 
merchant who owned a large trading concern on the 
coast; he had enjoyed a good English education; 
he was himself the owner of the smaller of the two 
islands at the mouth of the Mesurado River, and this 
island was purchased from him for the use of the 
colony. 

Land having been secured, measures were at once 
taken to remove the colonists from Fourah Bay to 
Cape Montserrado. Some of them refused to leave, 
and remained in Sierra Leone, becoming British 
subjects. It was January 7, 1822, when the colonists 
under the leadership of Agent Ayres reached their 
new home. It was soon learned that King: Peter had 
been condemned by the people for the sale of the 
land, and that the natives desired that the colonists 
should leave; the vessel, however, was unloaded and 
preparations for building houses were made. On 
account of the threatening attitude of the natives, a 
palaver was held. There was considerable opposition, 
but the colonists persisted in their efforts. The 
month of February was a sickly time, and little was 
done toward settlement. About the middle of Feb- 
ruary more settlers came from Fourah Bay, and the 
place was crowded and in bad condition. Agent Ayres 
was absent in Sierra Leone, when an incident occurred 
which might have had serious results for the infant 
colony. The colonists at this time were living on 
Perseverance Island. A small vessel, prize to an 



HISTORY. 59 

English schooner, with thirty slaves on board, put in 
for water at the island. Her cable parting, she (&if ted 
ashore and was wrecked. It was the custom of the 
coast to look upon wrecks as legitimate booty for the 
people upon whose shore they occurred. King George 
at once sent his people to take possession of the vessel 
and the goods, but they were met with resistance by 
the crew and were repulsed. While the natives were 
preparing to renew the attack, the Captain sent for 
help to the colony agent. Though no white man was 
there in charge, help was promised. A boat was 
manned and sent to his relief; a brass field piece on 
the island was brought to bear upon the assailants 
who were put to rout, with two killed and several 
wounded. The crew and slaves were brought safely 
to the land, but the vessel went to pieces and most 
of the stores and property were lost. The natives were 
very angry. The next day they resumed the attack, 
and the British soldiers and one colonist were killed. 
On returning from Sierra Leone, April 7, Ayres 
found the colony in confusion and alarm. The natives 
had received only a part of the purchased goods for 
their land. They now refused to receive the balance 
and insisted on returning what they had received and 
annulling the transaction. To this the agent would 
not give consent. They invited him, therefore, to a 
conference, seized him, and held him until he con- 
sented to take back the articles already paid. They 
insisted that the colonists should leave, but agreed 
to permit their staying until a purchase could be 
made elsewhere. Under these circumstances, Agent 
Ayres appealed to a chief named Boatswain who, 
after hearing the complaint, decided in favor of the 
colonists and ordered that the goods should be accepted 
and the title given. In his decision he said that the 
bargain had been fair on both sides and that he saw 
no grounds for rescinding the contract. Turning to 
Eing Peter, he remarked: ''Having sold your coun- 
try and accepted payment, you must take the con- 
sequences. • • * Let the Americans have their 



60 LIBERIA. 

lands immediately. Whoever is not satisfied with my 
decision, let him tell me so." To the agents he said: 
* * I promise you protection. If these people give you 
further disturbance, send for me ; and I swear, if they 
oblige me to come again to quiet them, I will do it by 
taking their heads from their shoulders, as I did old 
King Q^orge's, on my last visit to the coast to settle 
disputes." 

By the 28th of April the whole colony of immigrants 
had come from Sierra Leone. Dissatisfied with Per- 
severance Island, they had moved over on to the higher 
land of Cape Montserrado and taken formal posses- 
sion of it. This led to great excitement. There was 
a palaver at which many kings and half kings were 
present. Difficulties, however, were still pressing. 
The rainy season had begun ; the houses were not fit 
for occupancy; fever was prevalent and both agents 
were suffering; provisions and stores were scanty — 
almost exhausted ; it was realized that hostility on the 
part of the natives was but slumbering. Dr. Ayres, 
discouraged, determined to abandon the enterprise 
and to remove the people and the remaining stores to ^ 
Sierra Leone. Wiltberger opposed this project, and 
the colonists also rejected it. A small number indeed 
accompanied Dr. Ayres to Sierra Leone. The re- 
mainder resolved to suffer every hardship, remained, 
and by July had their houses in fair condition. Soon, 
however, Wiltberger felt compelled to return to the 
United States. There was no white man to leave in 
charge of matters, and a colonist, Elijah Johnson, was 
appointed temporary superintendent. 

It is at this point that Jehudi Ashmun came to 
Liberia. He was a remarkable man, and to him the 
colonial enterprise owes much. He was born April 21, 
1794 ; he studied at Middlebury College and Vermont 
University; in 1816 he was principal of the Maine 
Charity School ; in 1818 he married Miss C. D. Gray, 
at New York City; resigning his principalship on 
April 7, 1819, he removed to Washington where, for 
three years, he edited the Theological Repository; he 



mSTOBY. 61 

here thought seriously of entering the ministry; he 
wrote the lAfe of Samuel Bdcoru, who had died for 
the sake of the colonial enterprise ; in 1822, June 20th, 
he embarked upon the brig Strong , at Baltimore, hav- 
ing been employed to accompany a cargo of returned 
Georgian slaves. Mrs. Ashmun accompanied him; 
they were 81 days upon the voyage; on August 9th 
they arrived at Cape Montserrado. When Ashmun 
arrived, a small spot had been cleared, about thirty 
houses had been constructed in native style, together 
with a storehouse too small to receive the supplies 
which had been brought; the rainy season was at 
its height; the settlers already on the ground were 
barely supplied with shelter; for the new-comers no 
provision had been made; though the whole country 
was hostile, there were no adequate means of defense ; 
the total population of the settlement, including the 
new-comers, did not exceed 130 persons, of whom 
thirty-five only were capable of bearing arms. 

It was a desperate situation; the erection of a 
storehouse and of a building to shelter the recaptured 
Africans was at once begun. The people and the goods 
were transferred as rapidly as possible from the vessel 
to the shore. On September 15th, less than six weeks 
after their arrival, Mrs. Ashmun died of fever, and 
on December 16th Ashmun himself was taken down 
and for two months his life was in doubt ; it was not 
until the middle of February, 1823, that he was able 
to resume his duties. 

Between the time of Mrs. Ashmun 's death and 
Ashmun 's illness, troubles with the natives reached 
their culmination. Fortunately the danger had been 
foreseen and preparations made. Defensive opera- 
tions began on August 18th. The plan included the 
clearing of a considerable space around the settlement 
in order to render concealment of the natives diflBcult ; 
the stationing of five heavy guns at the angles of a 
triangle circumscribing the whole settlement, each 
angle being on a point sufiiciently commanding to 
enfilade two sides of the triangle and sweep the ground 



62 LIBERIA. 

, beyond the lines; guns to be covered by musket proof ; 
triangular stockades any two of which should be suf- 
ficient to contain all of the settlers in their wings; 
the brass piece and two swivels mounted on traveling 
carriages were in the center to support the i)Ost suf- 
fering heaviest attacks; — ^all to be joined by a paling 
carried quite around the settlement. Upon inspecting 
the matter of the force, it was found that there were 
only twenty-seven native Americans able to bear 
arms, when well. On November 7th it was found that 
an assault had been ordered within four days. Picket 
guards were set ; no man was allowed to sleep before 
sunrise ; patrols of natives were dispersed through the 
wood in every direction. Trees were felled in order 
to render approach more difl5cult. On Sunday, the 
10th, it was reported that the enemy were approach- 
ing, crossing the Mesurado River a few miles above 
the settlement. Early in the night from 600 to 900 
of them had assembled on the peninsula half a mile 
west, where they encamped. The attack itself was 
made at early dawn ; it was vigorous, and at first the 
enemy had the distinct advantage ; had they pressed 
it instead of delaying for looting, they would perhaps 
have won the day; as it was, the settlers recovered 
themselves and gained the victory. The number of 
the hostile dead could only be estimated; it could 
hardly have been less than 200 persons ; the colonists 
had some dead and several wounded. The entire 
force of the settlers at the moment of the combat was 
thirty-five individuals of whom six were native youths 
not sixteen years of age; of this number only 
about one-half were actually engaged in fighting. 
Lott Carey and Elijah Johnson were notable for 
bravery in this defense. Attempts were made to bring 
about a treaty of peace with the enemy; these efforts 
were ineffective, and it was well known that a new 
attack might be expected. Nothing could be secured 
in the way of supplies from the surrounding country ; 
all were put upon an allowance of provisions; the 
ammunition on hand was insufiicient for an hour's 



HISTORY. 63 

defense; it was impossible to know anything about 
the movement of the enemy, as there were no natives 
left in the settlement. Seven children had fallen into 
the hands of the native foe. November 23rd was 
observed as a day of humiliation, thanksgiving, and 
prayer. Two days later a passing steamer was able 
to give some relief in stores. On the 29th Capt. Bras- 
sey, aided with stores and by his influence, which was 
considerable, tried to bring about a peace with the 
hostile chiefs. It was in vain ; the enemy had planned 
destruction that very night, but delayed the attack 
on account of his presence with his vessel. Guard 
Was kept the night of the 29th, the 30th, December 
1st ; the attack was made at 4 :30 in the morning of the 
2d from two sides. How many were in the attacking 
force is not known, but there were more than in the 
first great battle; the battle lasted for more than an 
hour and a half and was most obstinately conducted ; 
the loss of the enemy, though considerable, was less 
than in the preceding battle; one of the gunners of 
the colonists was killed. Conditions were so desperate 
that a renewal of the battle the following day might 
have proved fatal to the settlers. A seeming accident 
brought deliverance. An officer oij watch, in the 
middle of the night, is said to have been alarmed by 
some slight noise ; on hearing it, he discharged several 
muskets and a large gun. At that moment the 
schooner Prince Regent was passing; the well known 
Major Laing was aboard, and a prize crew of eleven 
seamen commanded by Midshipman Gordon; they 
were on their way to Cape Coast Castle, but, hearing 
midnight cannon, anchored in order to investigate 
with morning's light; when they found the condition 
of things, Capt. Laing intervened in behalf of the 
colonists and brought about a truce ; the chiefs agreed 
to refer matters of dispute, which might thereafter 
arise, to Sierra Leone for settlement. Midshipman 
€k>rdon and his eleven men were left behind to assist 
the colonists in case of need, and a plentiful supply of 
ammunition was given them. Gordon was a great 



64 UBEBU. 

favorite with the settlers; he was, however, together 
with his companions, quickly taken down with fever, 
and within four weeks he and seven out of his eleven 
men were dead. 

We have already stated. that seven children of the 
colonists had been captured by the enemy. AahTrmn 
tells US: **Two of the captured children have been 
given up in consideration of a small gratuity. Five 
are still in the hands of the natives ; for their relief a 
very extravagant ransom was demanded which it was 
steadily resolved not to pay . . . redeeming trait 
. . . in their treatment of these helpless and tender 
captives. It was the first object of the captors to place 
them under the maternal care of several aged women, 
who, in Africa, as in most countries, are proverbially 
tender and indulgent. These protectresses had them 
clad in their usual habits and at an early period of the 
truce, sent to the colony to inquire the proper kinds 
of food, and modes of preparing it, to which the 
youngest had been accustomed. The affections of their 
little charges were so perfectly won in the four months 
of their captivity as to oblige their own parents, at 
the end of that time, literally to tear away from their 
keepers several of the youngest amidst the most affec- 
tionate demonstrations of mutual attachment. This 
event did not occur until the 12th of March, when 
their gratuitous redemption was voted almost unan- 
imously in a large council of native chiefs." 

We have referred to Elijah Johnson. He was an 
extraordinary man. Hii^ parentage is quite unknown ; 
June 11, 1789, he was taken to New Jersey; he had 
had some instruction, gained perhaps in New York; 
by religion he was a methodist and had studied for 
the ministry ; he had had some experience in military 
life in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts ; he 
had fought in the war of 1812 against the British; 
he came to Africa with the first colony of emigrants 
in 1820; in. 1822 he was one of the founders of the 
settlement at Cape Montserrado; when Ayres pro- 
posed the abandonment of the enterprise, he vigor- 



HISTORY. 65 

ously opposed him, and his influence had much to do 
with holding his fellow colonists; to the British cap- 
tain who, on the occasion of a difficulty, offered to quell 
the trouble with the natives if he be given ground for 
the erection of a flag, Johnson is said to have replied, 
**We want no flagstaff put up here, that will cost us 
more to get it down than it will to whip the natives." 
When Wiltberger left the colony entirely to itself, 
it was Johnson who was put in charge ; his son, born 
in Africa, became President of the Republic; Elijah 
Johnson died March 23, 1849. 

March 31, 1823, the United States ship, Cyane, 
Capt. Spencer, reached Cape Montserrado. Finding 
the colonists in bad condition, the Captain supplied 
their wants; he repaired the agent's house, com- 
menced and nearly completed the Martello tower — ^f or 
defense; after three weeks' assistance so much fever 
had sprung up among his crew that he was obliged 
to depart, sailing for the United States. He, however, 
left behind as helper, Richard Seaton, his chief clerk. 
Seaton assisted Ashmun and the colonists so far as he 
could but was himself stricken by fever and died in 
June. On May 24th the Oswego arrived with sixty- 
one new colonists; the agent, Dr. Ayres, who seems 
to have thought better of matters, returned by this 
vessel. About this time, however, the whole com- 
munity was rife with intrigue and rebellion ; the set- 
tlers were dissatisfied with their situation ; they were 
particularly dissatisfied with the distribution of land 
about which misunderstanding had arisen. The steps 
Ayres took for bringing about peace were not suc- 
cessful, and in December he left again for the United 
States. 

It was on February 20, 1824, that the official names 
of Liberia for the colony and Monrovia for the settle- 
ment on Cape Montserrado were adopted on recom- 
mendation of General HalT)er. Previous to this time 
the settlement had been known by the name Christ- 
opolis. Things at Christopolis had been going badly. 
Even Ashmun could no longer get on with the set- 

6. 



66 UBEBIA. 

tiers; perhaps it would be as true to say that even 
the settlers could not get on with Ashmun. However 
that may be, on March 22nd he issued a farewell 
address in which he expressed his feelings in regard 
to the disaffected, and on April 1st he embarked for 
the Cape Verde Islands. There is no reason to be- 
lieve, so far as I know, that he had any intention of 
returning again to his field of labor. He had had a 
most unsatisfactory and disagreeable correspondence 
with the Society, and his tenure of office with them 
was vague and unsatisfactory; they had refused to 
recognize some of his official acts and conditions could 
hardly have been more disagreeable than they were 
at the moment. 

Rev. R. R. Gurley had been ordered by the Society 
to visit Africa and investigate conditions at the 
colony. On July 24th the Porpoise, which was carry- 
ing him to Monrovia, put in at Porto Praya where 
Ashmun was stopping; he went on board to meet 
Gurley, and there they had their first conversation 
over the state of affairs ; Ashmun consented to return 
to Monrovia and assist Gurley in getting a general 
knowledge of conditions. Together they reached Mon- 
rovia on August 13th; Gurley stayed until August 
22nd; the two men went over the details of the 
situation, held consultations with the settlers, and 
drew up a plan of government more definite than 
had before existed, and which the discontented set- 
tiers agreed to accept. 

After Gurley had departed conditions at the colony 
greatly improved; the new laws and the participa- 
tion of the colonists in their own government had an 
excellent effect; every one appeared loyal and all 
united to advance the common interests. New lands 
were acquired in the neighborhood of Grand Bassa, 
New Cess, Cape Mount, and Junk River. In 1826 
difficulties arose with the slave traders at Trade Town, 
about 100 miles south from Monrovia. Ashmun had 
remonstrated against their operations. In reply the 
French and Spanish traders proceeded to strengthen 



msTOBY. 67 

themselves ; the traders were organized and some 350 
natives were under their command. Ashmun decided 
to take vigorous action against them. On April 9th 
the Columbian war vessel, Joctn^o^ arrived at Mon- 
rovia with orders to co-operate with Dr. Peaco, the 
United States Gk)vernment agent, and Mr. Ashmun; 
on April 10th Ashmun and thirty-two militia volun- 
teers embarked upon the Jacinto, and the Indian 
Chief (Capt. Cochrane), and sailed for Trade Town 
where they arrived on the 11th, finding the Columbian 
vessel Vencedor, there, ready to assist them. The 
three vessels united in the attack, attempting to make 
a landing on the morning of the 12th; the surf was 
breaking heavily over the bar and the passage was 
only eight yards wide with rocks on both sides. The 
barges, full of armed men, were in great danger; 
the Spanish force was drawn up on the beach within 
half a gunshot of the barges; the two barges with 
Captains Chase and Cottrell were exposed to the 
enemy's fire and filled with surf before reaching the 
shore; their crews, however, landed and forced the 
Spaniards back to the town. The flagboat with Ash- 
mun and Capt. Cochrane and twenty-four men was 
upset and dashed upon the rocks; Ashmun was in- 
jured; some arms and ammunition were lost. Capt. 
Barbour, observing the diflSculties encountered by the 
other boats, ran his boat on to the beach a little to the 
left of the river's mouth, and landed safely. The town 
was captured ; the natives and Spaniards took to the 
forest, and from behind the town poured in shot 
at frequent intervals; the contest continued through 
two days ; more than 80 slaves were surrendered, but 
no actual adjustment of the difficulties was arrived 
at. At noon of the 13th, preparations were made to 
leave; the slaves were first embarked, and in the 
middle of the afternoon, the town having been fired, 
the officers took to the boats ; before the vessel sailed 
the fire reached the ammunition of the enemy, and 250 
casks of gunpowder were exploded ; Trade Town was 
wiped out, and the victorious party returned to Mon- 



68 LIBERIA. 

rovia. It was indeed only a temporary solution of the 
diflSculty; by the end of July slaving vessels were 
again at Trade Town, a battery had been constructed, 
and preparations made to resist any force that might 
in future be sent against it. 

On August 27, 1827, the Norfolk arrived with 142 
recaptured slaves ; this was the largest shipment of the 
kind so far sent. The policy was adopted of settling 
such Africans in settlements by themselves at a little 
distance from Monrovia, on lands well suited to agri- 
culture ; it is remarkable how readily these poor crea- 
tures took advantage of the opportunities offered 
them; they were industrious, established neat settle- 
ments, cultivated fields, and were anxious to learn the 
ways of the ** white man''; as, however, they repre- 
sented different tribes, occasional diflSculties arose 
among them through tribal jealousies, and adjust- 
ment was necessary at the hands of the civilized 
colonists. 

Ashmun's health had long been bad; the injuries 
he suffered in the attack at Trade Town had been 
somewhat serious; he had, moreover, been subjected 
to a constant strain of anxiety, together with responsi- 
bility; he had been doing the work of several men; 
his condition finally became critical, and he decided 
that he must leave the colony. "Whatever feeling 
might have existed at one time against him, he was 
now a much loved man; in losing him, the colonists 
felt as if they lost a father; he embarked on March 
25th for the United States; he reached his native land 
in a condition of extreme exhaustion and weakness; 
on August 25th he died at New Haven, Conn. There 
was no white man in the colony at the time when 
Ashmun left to whom he could turn over the leader- 
ship of the settlement; he accordingly placed affairs 
in the hands of Lott Carey. 

Lott Carey was a remarkable black man; he was 
born a slave near Richmond, Va., about 1780 ; in his 
early manhood he was rather wild ; in 1804 he went 
to Richmond where he worked for a tobacco com- 



HISTORY. 69 

pany; becoming converted in 1807, he joined the 
Baptist Church; he learned to read and write, and 
preached among his people; he was well considered 
by his employers and earned $800 a year as a regular 
salary, besides frequently making additional sums 
by legitimate outside labor; by carefully saving his 
money, he raised $850, ransoming himself and two 
children ; his wife had died in 1813 ; becoming inter- 
ested in African missions, he took to preaching, organ- 
ized a missionary society, and through it raised con- 
tributions for the cause; he had married again, and 
learning of the Liberian scheme, early becoming in- 
terested, and decided to go to Africa; on January 
23, 1821, he left Eichmond for the colony ; be was a 
most useful man — active in church work, interested 
in school affairs, instructing the recaptured Africans, 
aiding in the care of the sick and suffering; he had 
been of the disaffected, but after difficulties had been 
adjusted, was a firm friend and supporter of Ashmun. 
When left in charge of the colony, he actively pushed 
on in every line of progress, dealing fairly with the 
natives, arranging for defense, encouraging develop- 
ment, etc. In June, when three suspicious Spanish 
vessels stood off the harbor, he lost no time in dealing 
with them, ordering them away at once. Trouble, 
however, was arising with the natives. A factory be- 
longing to the colony at Digby had been robbed; 
satisfaction had been demanded and refused ; a slave 
trader was allowed to land goods in the very house 
where the colony goods had been ; a letter of remon- 
strance to the trader was intercepted and destroyed 
by the natives. Lott Carey called out the militia, 
and began to make arrangements for a show of force ; 
on the evening of November 8th, while he and several 
others were making cartridges in the old agency- 
house, a candle caught some loose powder and caused 
an explosion which resulted in the death of eight 
persons; six of these survived until the 9th, Lott 
Carey and one other until the 10th. With his death 
the settlement was left without a head. Shortly be- 



70 LIBEBU. 

fore that sad event, however, — on October 28, 1828, 
a new constitution and laws, suggested by Ajshmun 
shortly before his death, had been adopted by the 
Colonization Society and been put into operation. 
It was in every way an advance upon the previous 
efforts to organize the administration of the colony, 
and it may be said to mark a period in the colonial 
history. 



''Instead of repenting that I am here, although I was well 
treated in Georgia, I would not return to live in the United 
States for ^ye thousand dollars. There is scarcely a thinking 
person here but would feel insulted, if you should talk to him 
about returning. The people are now turning their attention to 
the cultivation of the soU, and are beginning to live within 
their own means."— S. Benedict. 

1828—1838. 

Bichard Randall, the newly appointed agent, 
arrived at Monrovia on December 22, 1828. He found 
the Digby incident still unsettled. King Brister (or 
Bristol) had been threatening. Randall thought it 
best, however, not to pursue active warfare and 
attempted to adjust matters without fighting. He was 
a man of excellent ideas, devoted to his duties, active 
and energetic. He was imprudent, however, in caring 
for himself, and died on April 19th, having been in the 
colony only about four months. He was succeeded 
by Dr. Mechlin who had come out with him as physi- 
cian in December. Mechlin remained as agent for 
some years, although, on account of bad health, he was 
obliged to return once during that period to the 
United States. It was during his agency that the 
first printing press was erected in Monrovia, in 1830, 
and the first newspaper. The Liberian Herald, was 
printed with J. B. Busswurm as editor. It was in 
1830 that Mechlin took his furlough to the United 
States; he was at first relieved by Dr. J. W. Ander- 
son who died on April 12th, having been in Liberia 
less than two months ; upon his death, the vice-agent, 
Anthony D. Williams, took charge until the return 
of Dr. Mechlin. Mechlin negotiated several treaties 
with native chiefis and increased the land holding 
of the colony through purchase; he visited Orand 
Bassa and negotiated for land around Cape Mount ; it 

71 



72 LIBEBIA. 

was during his administration that the Dey-Golah 
War took place. He seems to have been a weU-mean- 
ing man, and certainly accomplished something, but 
there was considerable dissatisfaction with his admin- 
istration, and when he left, it was questioned whether 
he was a good financier and used judgment and econ- 
omy in administering money matters. 

One ot the most exciting incidents in the history of 
Liberia was the Dey-Qolai War of 1832. Hostilities 
had been threatened against the colony by King Brom- 
ley, but he died before serious difficulty occurred. 
It was soon found that the Deys and others were com- 
bining; deeds of violence were practiced against the 
colonists and recaptured Africans; captives had been 
taken by King Willy ; a messenger was sent to demand 
their release, but the letter was torn up and the 
messenger told to inform the agent that they would 
seize and hold every colonist they could find. The 
next day the enemy, standing on the river bank 
opposite Caldwell, blew war horns, fired muskets, and 
challenged the colonists; a body of recaptured Afri- 
cans, 100 in number, was sent against them; finding 
a large force gathered, they were driven back, and one 
man was killed. The enemy barricaded their own 
town, and sent word that, if the colonists did not 
promptly meet them in the field, they would attack 
Caldwell and Millsburg; the Golah were acting with 
the Dey in this aflfair. Mechlin left Monrovia on June 
20th, with the regular militia and volunteers, eighty 
in all; they had a. large field piece with them; at 
Caldwell they were joined by seventy volunteers and 
militia, and 120 recaptured Africans; all were placed 
under Capt. Elijah Johnson. One day's march from 
Caldwell brought the force to Bromley's town which 
they took without trouble, camping there for the 
night; the next day they advanced over an exceed- 
ingly difficult road — seven hours being required for 
ten miles' progress; after mid-day the recaptured 
Africans, who were in advance, were engaged with the 
enemy; the field piece was brought up until only 



HISTORY. 73 

twenty-five or thirty yards from the barricaded town. 
A few firings forced the enemy to abandon tiieir 
position ; under cover of the field piece, the colonists 
now rushed forward and cut through the barricade; 
the field piece was advanced and the town captured, 
the enemy escaping in the rear. In this engagement 
Lieutenant Thompson, of the colony force, was killed 
and three men wounded; of the enemy fifteen were 
killed and many wounded. The captured town was 
burned and also Bromley ; the force returned to Cald- 
well for the night and then to Monrovia. Lieutenant 
Thompson was interred with the honors of war. 
Messengers promptly arrived from Kings Willy 
and Brister; Mechlin demanded that the kings them- 
selves appear in person at Monrovia ; Brister, Sitma, 
Long Peter, and Kai appeared; Willy sent New 
Peter as his representative ; they agreed to the terms 
offered and a treaty of peace was signed. 

It was also during Mechlin's agency that the colon- 
ization of Maryland in Africa began. In 1831 Dr. 
James Hall with 31 colonists from the Maryland 
Colonization Society stopped at Monrovia; they had 
been sent out to locate a settlement where the colon- 
ists should devote themselves exclusively to agricul- 
ture (refusing trade) and should be devoted to tem- 
perance principles; they were not received with cor- 
diality by the people at Monrovia, and no particular 
inclination was shown to aid them in securing a site 
for their purposes; Dr. Hall, therefore, left them 
temporarily at Monrovia, while he returned to the 
United States for advice and further supplies; he 
returned in 1833 with 28 new colonists ; taking those 
who were at Monrovia, all sailed farther down the 
coast until, at Cape Palmas, they found a location to 
their satisfaction; they landed there, engaged in 
negotiations with the native chiefs, and founded what 
was at first known as Maryland in Africa; it was 
entirely distinct from the settlements under the 
direction of the American Colonization Society. 

About this time there was a tendency for local 



74 LIBERIA. 

branch organization^ of the American Colonization 
Society to be formed and to undertake their own set- 
tlements, although these were not considered to be 
actually independent of the mother society and of the 
people at Monrovia. Considerable settlements had 
been made in the neighborhood of Grand Bassa. 
Among these, one of the most promising was Edina 
which was laid out upon a tongue of land upon the 
north side of the St. John's Biver ; it was named Edina 
from Edinburgh, Scotland, citizens of which had con- 
tributed quite liberally to the funds of the American 
Colonization Society. After Edina was founded, a 
neighboring settlement was made through the efforts 
of the Pennsylyania Young Men's Colonization 
Society-^an organization of Friends; it was organized 
with the idea that agriculture should be the chief in- 
terest; that trade as a means of income should be 
forbidden; that temperance and sobriety, involving 
a pledge of abstinence, should be demanded; and 
that war and resistance should be forbidden. Non- 
resistance and peace-principles, however, were not in 
place at that time and region; in 1835 this little 
colony was wiped out of existence by a brutal attack 
on the part of natives instigated by a slave trader 
who feared that the presence of the colonists would 
interrupt his trade. Joe Harris and King Peter, 
brothers, were the active agents of destruction; for 
several days their people spied upon the settlers, in- 
forming themselves whether any arms were in the 
place ; there was one gun only there ; the assault took 
place at night, and about 20 persons, mostly women 
and children, were killed; the agent Hankinson and 
his wife were rescued by a Kruman who concealed 
them ; those who escaped were taken to Monrovia and 
cared for ; the authorities at Monrovia took immediate 
action, marched an armed force against the aggres- 
sors, put them to flight, and destroyed their towns; 
King Peter and Joe Harris agreed to forever abandon 
the slave trade, to give free passage from the interior 
through their country, to rebuild the settlement, and 



msTOBY. 75 

return the property; a better spot was selected and 
a new settlement made. 

When Mechlin retomed to the United States, Rev. 
John B. Pinney, who was already in Liberia as a 
missionary, succeeded him. He found everything in a 
state of confusion and dilapidation ; himseU a man of 
vigor, he acted promptly and made notable improve- 
ments; he attempted to give agriculture its proper 
position as the fundamental interest of the commu- 
nity ; he purchased fertile lands in the interior for cul- 
tivation ; he emphasized the claims of Liberia to lands 
lying behind Cape Mount ; he adjusted difficulties be- 
tween the Congoes and Eboes, recaptured Africans; 
had he remained long in office, he might perhaps have 
accomplished much. He, however, left Liberia at the 
end of 1834 for home. Dr. Ezekiel Skinner took his 
position; at the time of Pinney's retirement he was 
the colonial physician. His labors were arduous and 
multiform; in performing them he suffered repeated 
exposures which brought on a serious fever under 
which he was reduced so low that he was obliged to 
return to the United States, leaving Anthony D. Wil- 
liams as agent in his place. 

Williams, in fact, seems to have been agent at in- 
tervals from the time of Randall's death until he 
gave way to Thomas Buchanan in 1839. Inasmuch 
as most authorities speak of him as if he were a white 
man, it may be well to raise the question. Late in 
November, 1836, Rev. Charles Rockwell, chaplain of 
the United States Navy, was in Liberia. In his 
Sketches of Foreign Travel he says: ''Mr. Williams, 
who has for years been the acting-governor of Mon- 
rovia, took the lead in entertaining us and in doing 
the honors of the place. He was from Petersburg, 
Va., where, if I mistake not, he was once a slave. He 
has a i)eculiarly modest, sedate, gentlemanly deport- 
ment, and during his repeated visits to the United 
States has, by his intelligent and good sense, justly 
secured the esteem and confidence of those with whom 
he had intercourse. He came to Africa as a clergy- 



72 IIBEBIA. 

was during his administration that the Dey-Golah 
War took place. He seems to have been a weU-mean- 
ing man, and certainly accomplished something, but 
there was considerable dissatisfaction with his admin- 
istration, and when he left, it was questioned whether 
he was a good financier and used judgment and econ- 
omy in administering money matters. 

One o:^ the most exciting incidents in the history of 
Liberia was the Dey-Qolai War of 1832. Hostilities 
had been threatened against the colony by King Brom- 
ley, but he died before serious difficulty occurred. 
It was soon found that the Deys and others were com- 
bining; deeds of violence were practiced against the 
colonists and recaptured Africans; captives had been 
taken by King Willy ; a messenger was sent to demand 
their release, but the letter was torn up and the 
messenger told to inform the agent that they would 
seize and hold every colonist they could find. The 
next day the enemy, standing on the river bank 
opposite Caldwell, blew war horns, fired muskets, and 
challenged the colonists; a body of recaptured Afri- 
cans, 100 in number, was sent against them; finding 
a large force gathered, they were driven back, and one 
man was killed. The enemy barricaded their own 
town, and sent word that, if the colonists did not 
promptly meet them in the field, they would attack 
Caldwell and Millsburg; the Golah were acting with 
the Dey in this aflfair. Mechlin left Monrovia on June 
20th, with the regular militia and volunteers, eighty 
in all; they had a. large field piece with them; at 
Caldwell they were joined by seventy volunteers and 
militia, and 120 recaptured Africans ; all were placed 
under Capt. Elijah Johnson. One day's march from 
Caldwell brought the force to Bromley's town which 
they took without trouble, camping there for the 
night; the next day they advanced over an exceed- 
ingly difficult road — seven hours being required for 
ten miles' progress; after mid-day the recaptured 
Africans, who were in advance, were engaged with the 
enemy; the field piece was brought up until only 



HISTORY. 73 

twenty-five or thirty yards from the barricaded town. 
A few firings forced the enemy to abandon their 
position; under cover of the field piece, the colonists 
now rushed forward and cut through the barricade; 
the field piece was advanced and the town captured, 
the enemy escaping in the rear. In this engagement 
Lieutenant Thompson, of the colony force, was killed 
and three men wounded; of the enemy fifteen were 
killed and many wounded. The captured town was 
burned and also Bromley ; the force returned to Cald- 
well for the night and then to Monrovia. Lieutenant 
Thompson was interred with the honors of war. 
Messengers promptly arrived from Kings Willy 
and Brister; Mechlin demanded that the kings them- 
selves appear in person at Monrovia ; Brister, Sitma, 
Long Peter, and Kai appeared; Willy sent New 
Peter as his representative ; they agreed to the terms 
offered and a treaty of peace was signed. 

It was also during Mechlin's agency that the colon- 
ization of Maryland in Africa began. In 1831 Dr. 
James Hall with 31 colonists from the Maryland 
Colonization Society stopped at Monrovia; they had 
been sent out to locate a settlement where the colon- 
ists should devote themselves exclusively to agricul- 
ture (refusing trade) and should be devoted to tem- # 
perance principles; they were not received with cor- 
diality by the people at Monrovia, and no particular 
inclination was shown to aid them in securing a site 
for their purposes; Dr. Hall, therefore, left them 
temporarily at Monrovia, while he returned to the 
United States for advice and further supplies; he 
returned in 1833 with 28 new colonists ; taking those 
who were at Monrovia, all sailed farther down the 
coast until, at Cape Palmas, they found a location to 
their satisfaction; they landed there, engaged in 
negotiations with the native chiefs, and founded what 
was at first known as Maryland in Africa; it was 
entirely distinct from the settlements under the 
direction of the American Colonization Society. 

About this time there was a tendency for local 



74 LIBERIA. 

branch organizations of the American Colonization 
Society to be formed and to undertake their own set- 
tlementSy although these were not considered to be 
actually independent of the mother society and of the 
people at Monrovia. Considerable settlements had 
been made in the neighborhood of Grand Bassa. 
Among these, one of the most promising was Edina 
which was laid out upon a tongue of land upon the 
north side of the St. John's Biver ; it was named Edina 
from Edinburgh, Scotland, citizens of which had con- 
tributed quite liberally to the funds of the American 
Colonization Society. After Edina was founded, a 
neighboring settlement was made through the efforts 
of the Pennsylvania Young Men's Colonization 
Society— an organization of Friends; it was organized 
with the idea that agriculture should be the chief in- 
terest; that trade as a means of income should be 
forbidden; that temperance and sobriety, involving 
a pledge of abstinence, should be demanded; and 
that war and resistance should be forbidden. Non- 
resistance and peace-principles, however, were not in 
place at that time and region; in 1835 this little 
colony was wiped out of existence by a brutal attack 
on the part of natives instigated by a slave trader 
who feared that the presence of the colonists would 
interrupt his trade. Joe Harris and King Peter, 
brothers, were the active agents of destruction; for 
several days their people spied upon the settlers, in- 
forming themselves whether any arms were in the 
place ; there was one gun only there ; the assault took 
place at night, and about 20 persons, mostly women 
and children, were killed; the agent Hankinson and 
his wife were rescued by a Kruman who concealed 
them ; those who escaped were taken to Monrovia and 
cared for ; the authorities at Monrovia took immediate 
action, marched an armed force against the aggres- 
sors, put them to flight, and destroyed their towns; 
King Peter and Joe Harris agreed to forever abandon 
the slave trade, to give free passage from the interior 
through their country, to rebuild the settlement, and 



msTOBY. 75 

return the property; a better spot was selected and 
a new settlement made. 

When Mechlin returned to the United States, Rev. 
John B. Pinney, who was already in Liberia as a 
missionary, succeeded him. He found everything in a 
state of confusion and dilapidation ; himself a man of 
vigor, he acted promptly and made notable improve- 
ments; he attempted to give agriculture its proper 
position as the fundamental interest of the commu- 
nity ; he purchased fertile lands in the interior for cul- 
tivation ; he emphasized the claims of Liberia to lands 
lying behind Cape Mount ; he adjusted difficulties be- 
tween the Congoes and Eboes, recaptured Africans; 
had he remained long in office, he might perhaps have 
accomplished much. He, however, left Liberia at the 
end of 1834 for home. Dr. Ezekiel Skinner took his 
position; at the time of Pinney 's retirement he was 
the colonial physician. His labors were arduous and 
multiform; in performing them he suffered repeated 
exposures which brought on a serious fever under 
which he was reduced so low that he was obliged to 
return to the United States, leaving Anthony D. Wil- 
liams as agent in his place. 

Williams, in fact, seems to have been agent at in- 
tervals from the time of Randall's death until he 
gave way to Thomas Buchanan in 1839. Inasmuch 
as most authorities speak of him as if he were a white 
man, it may be well to raise the question. Late in 
November, 1836, Rev. Charles Rockwell, chaplain of 
the United States Navy, was in Liberia. In his 
Sketches of Foreign Travel he says: ''Mr. Williams, 
who has for years been the acting-governor of Mon- 
rovia, took the lead in entertaining us and in doing 
the honors of the place. He was from Petersburg, 
Va., where, if I mistake not, he was once a slave. He 
has a peculiarly modest, sedate, gentlemanly deport- 
ment, and during his repeated visits to the United 
States has, by his intelligent and good sense, justly 
secured the esteem and confidence of those with whom 
he had intercourse. He came to Africa as a clergy- 



76 LIBERU. 

man of the Methodist Church, and for a year or more 
was engaged in the self-denying work of a missionary 
among the natives at a distance of 150 miles in the 
interior. Under the title of vice-agent, he has for 
years been head (actively) of the colony, and as far 
as I could learn, has so discharged the duties of his 
ofSce as to secure the confidence alike of his fellow 
citizens and of the society from which he received his 
appointment. " When, in 1839, he gave up the agency 
to Thomas Buchanan as Governor of the newly es- 
tablished Conunonwealth of Liberia, the Board of the 
Colonization Society expressed itself as well satisfied 
with his long services; but it was their opinion **that 
the time had not yet arrived when the interests of the 
colony would permit it to remain permanently under 
the direction of a colonist.'' It would seem as if 
these two quotations amply establish the fact that 
Williams was a colored man; we have thought it 
worth while to raise the question, inasmuch as his 
services were serious, and if rendered by a black man, 
deserve special recognition. 

With the year 1836 there arrived in Africa a man 
of great ability and extraordinary energy, Thomas 
H. Buchanan; he was sent out as the agent of the 
New York and Pennsylvania Societies to take charge 
of their settlements at Bassa Cove; these settlements 
recognized the superior authority of Monrovia and 
the American Colonization Society ; but it was deemed 
better that they should have a special superintendent 
in charge of them. It is well enough to notice that, 
at this time, there were three totally different associa- 
tions at work within the area of what now is Liberia, 
besides Maryland; there was the original settlement 
of Monrovia on Cape Montserrado with extensions in 
the direction of Cape Mount and the Junk River ; this 
district included Monrovia and several villages around 
it; '*the people were not much given to agriculture; 
they were shrewd at driving trade and better liked 
to compete for some gallons of palm oil or sticks of 
camwood than to be doing their duty to their fields 



HISTORY. 77 

and gardens;" politics and military concerns occupied 
considerable of their attention, and they were called 
upon to adjust claims with the neighboring settle- 
ments. Secondly, there were the Bassa Cove villages ; 
there were several of these in the neighborhood of the 
St. John's River; they depended mainly upon agri- 
culture and trade; they encouraged temperance and 
desired peace. Third, there were interesting settle- 
ments in Sinoe along the Sinoe River upon its rich 
agricultural lands ; Greenville was a flourishing town ; 
the settlers in this vicinity came from Mississippi, 
and their region was known as Mississippi in Africa. 

Just as the New York and Pennsylvania Societies 
engaged a special governor to take charge of their 
settlements, so the Mississippi Society sent out a spe- 
cial governor to take charge of Mississippi in Africa. 
The appointment was of special interest in the person 
of I. F. C. Finley. Governor Finley was a son of 
the Rev. Robert Finley, to whom the organization 
of the American Colonization Society was in reality 
due. In September, 1838, Governor Finley left for 
Monrovia on business as well as for his health ; making 
a landing in the neighborhood of the Bassa Cove 
settlements, he was robbed and murdered by the 
natives on September 10th; it is believed that 
the motive to this murder was the desire for gain, 
as the Governor had considerable money upon his 
person. The murder led to disturbance between the 
settlers at Bassa Cove and the natives'. who were im- 
plicated ; one or two of the latter were killed, several 
wounded, and some houses were destroyed. 

One rather interesting incident in connection with 
the Bassa settlements was the experience of Louis 
Sheriden. He was a colored man of some means from 
North Carolina, who came to Liberia in February, 
1838 ; he at first planned to settle at Bassa Cove, but 
on visiting the settlements and examining the laws 
of their government, he was dissatisfied and refused 
to take the oath required of those who became citi- 
zens, saying that he had ''left the United States on 



78 LIBERIA. 

account of oppression and that he would not subject 
himself to arbitrary government in Africa"; he 
finally decided to locate at Bexley, six miles from 
Bassa Cove; he took a lease of 600 acres and soon 
had more than a hundred men in his employ; his 
intention was to develop an extensive sugar and coffee 
plantation, but he died before his plan could be 
realized. 

An interesting man in this period, although but 
indirectly connected with the colony, was Theodore 
Oanot ; he was bom in Florence in 1803 and had a life 
of excitement and adventure; in 1826 he became a 
slave trader; he finally located with Pedro Blanco at 
Gallinhas, and was sent by him to New Cess ; he was 
a witness of the Finley murder ; after Blanco retired 
from the slave trade, Canot, being hard pressed by 
the British ofScers, decided to abandon the business 
also. He finally retired to New York, where he met 
with Brantz Mayer, who wrote a book which pur- 
ported to be autobiographical material supplied by 
the old adventurer. Canot not infrequently came 
into contact with the Liberian authorities. He must 
have known the whole colonial experiment better than 
almost any other white man. Of Liberia he says: 
''Nevertheless, the prosperity, endurance, and influ- 
ence of the colonies are still problems. I am anxious 
to see the second generation of colonists in Africa. I 
wish to know what will be the force and development 
of the negro mind on its native soil — civilized, but cut 
off from all instruction, influence, or association with 
the white mind. I desire to understand, precisely, 
whether the negroes faculties are original or imitative, 
and consequently, whether he can stand alone in ab- 
solute independence, or is only respectable when 
reflecting the civilization that is cast upon him by 
others." 

As was to be expected, considerable feeling arose 
between the four separate colonies — ^Liberia, Bassa 
Cove, Mississippi in Africa, and Maryland. Thus, in 
May, 1838, Anthony D. Williams wrote : I regret to 



HISTORY. 79 

say, our neighbors of Bassa Cove and Edina seem to 
entertain the most hostile feelings toward the colony 
and everything connected with it. They have mani- 
fested such a disposition as will, if continued, lead 
to serious difficulties between the settlements. The 
I)olicy which the colonizationists are now pursuing is 
assuredly a bad one and will inevitably defeat the 
object they aim to accomplish. Nothing can be con- 
ceived more destructive to the general good than sep- 
arate and conflicting interests among the different 
colonies, and this consequence will certainly follow 
the establishment of separate and distinct sovereign- 
ties contifiTUOus to each other." This was felt to be a 
serious problem; after due consideration, an effort 
was made to more strongly unite the colonies outside 
of Maryland; a new constitution "was accordingly 
drawn up by Professor Qreenleaf , of Harvard Col- 
lege, the name ''Commonwealth of Liberia'' was 
adopted, and Thomas Buchanan, who had been gov- 
ernor of the Grand Bassa settlements, was appointed 
governor of the newly organized commonwealth. We 
have already referred to him as a man of vigor and 
enthusiasm ; it is seldom indeed that Liberia has had 
an equally capable director. 



"It is not every man that we can honestly advise, or desire 
to come to this country. To those who are contented to live and 
educate their children as house servants and lackeys, we would 
say stay where you are; here we have no masters to employ 
you. To the indolent, heedless and slothful, we would say, tarry 
among the flesh-pots of Egypt; here we get our bread by the 
sweat of our brow. To drunkards and rioters, we would say, 
come not to us; you never can become naturalized in a land 
where there are no grog-shops and where temperance and order 
is the motto. To the timorous and suspicious, we would say, 
stay where you have protectors ; here we protect ourselves. But 
the industrious, enterprising, and patriotic, of whatever occu- 
pation, or enterprise — ^the mechanic, the merchant, the farmer, 
and especially the latter, we would counsel, advise, and entreat, 
to come over and be one with us, and assist us in this glorious 
enterprise, and enjoy with us that to which we ever were, and 
to which the man of color ever must be a stranger, in America." 

1838—1847. 

Governor Buchanan had scarcely come to power 
when he was forced to take vigorous action against 
the slave traders at Trade Town; he assumed the 
right of jurisdiction over the entire territory along 
the Little Bassa seaboard; he ordered a trader, who 
had been there established for some months, to leave 
within a given time or suffer the confiscation of his 
entire property; the man had received two similar 
orders from Anthony D. Williams, but had treated 
them with contempt; to Buchanan's order he re- 
turned a courteous reply ; he promised obedience, but 
asked delay until a vessel should come to take his 
goods ; this was granted on condition of his desisting 
entirely from slave trading in the meantime. About 
this time an English trader established a regular trade 
factory at the same place; he put some goods ashore 
in charge of a native agent; Buchanan ordered him 
off under threat of seizing his goods; he treated the 
messenger rudely and refused obedience. Meantime 

80 



HISTORY. 81 

the slave trader had been negotiating with native 
kings for their protection; he added to his stores, 
extended his barraeoon, and paid no attention to 
remonstrance. On the 18th of April, without previ- 
ous announcement, Buchanan ordered a military 
parade at 7 P.M.; he stated the facts, declared his 
intention of proceeding in force against Trade Town, 
and called for forty volunteers who were soon 
secured; the next day he sent to New Georgia for 
twenty-five volunteers — ^they sent him thirty-five. He 
then chartered two small schooners, and sent them, 
together with the government schooner Providence, 
with ammunition, by sea to join the land forces for 
co-operation ; on Monday, the 22nd, at 9 A. M., the 
land force took up the march under Elijah Johnson; 
in despatching his soldiers, the Governor told them 
that they were not out for war and plunder, but to 
sustain a civil officer in the discharge of his duty ; he 
urged them to conduct themselves in an orderly man- 
ner with obedience and discipline. When the force 
actually started, about 100 men were in line. The 
fleet found bad winds and currents; after thirty-six 
hours' struggle in trying to make Trade Town, it re- 
appeared at Monrovia. The case looked desperate, as 
the men sent overland had little ammunition or food. 
At this moment Sir Francis Russell arrived and 
placed the fast Euphrates at the disposition of the 
government; arms and ammunition were at once 
loaded, Buchanan went in person, and the next morn- 
ing they were at anchor in front of Little Bassa. The 
battle was already on ; the barraeoon, a circular pali- 
sade ten feet high, enclosed some half-dozen native 
houses, from which firing was going on; the opening 
in the forest was about 150 yards from the shore; it 
was difficult to know what to do, as it was impossible 
to recognize which was the friendly party; the Eu- 
phrates, Well known as a slaving vessel, would be mis- 
taken; the landing-party would be fired upon by its 
friends; an American seaman volunteered to per- 
form the dangerous feat of carrying a letter to the 

6. 



82 LIBERU. 

shore; Elijah Johnson, seeing a white man landing 
from the canoe, made a sally with his forces to destroy 
him ; his real character was only recognized when the 
natives were on the point of knifing him: Johnson's 
party rushed out and saved him. As soon as his mes- 
senger was ashore, Buchanan started with two boats 
for the beach; the terrified Kru, whom they met in 
canoes before landing, told them that the woods on 
both sides of the path were lined with natives and 
the woods behind alive with them; when their boat 
was about fifty yards from the beach, a party of five 
or six came out to attack the new-comers ; Buchanan 
stood and fired into them and they scattered. In 
landing, his canoe was capsized and he was nearly 
drowned. Huzzas greeted the relieving party; the 
defense was vigorously resumed; the houses outside 
of the barracoon, fifteen or twenty in number, had 
given cover to the natives; Buchanan ordered them 
to be destroyed, which was promptly done. Johnson 
with a party of thirty or forty was then ordered to 
drive the enemy from their forest shelter; this he 
did, and the axe-men felled trees so as ta clear the 
space around. The enemy kept firing all day, scatter- 
ing whenever a rush was made; Buchanan himself 
led two such charges. The Krumen were now em- 
ployed in loading the property which had been seized 
by the government party, a task which continued 
through the day under the protection of the soldiers. 
The next morning firing was renewed from a dozen 
places at once; a pursuing party set out; Johnson 
led on; he was twice wounded and also three of his 
men, though not seriously. As ammunition was 
almost gone. Buchanan hurried in the Euphrates to 
Monrovia, where he arrived late at night; the next 
morning forty additional volunteers were taken on 
board, together with two field pieces, 14,000 ball cart- 
ridges, etc., etc. The vessel met with contrary winds 
and was delayed. As they neared their destination 
a large brier was seen apparently making for thf^ 
anchorage ground; it was believed to be a brig of 



HISTORY. 83 

the English trader whose factory had been destroyed ; 
the decks of the Euphrates were cleared for action 
and a six-pounder made ready. The brig turned, 
however, and was soon out of sight. On landing, 
Buchanan found that there had been no fighting since 
he left ; messengers were sent out to the native chiefs, 
Prince and Bah Gay, demanding instant surrender of 
the slaves, who, on the appearance of the force, had 
been turned over by the slavers to the natives; the 
captured goods were finally all loaded, the wounded 
were sent on board, and everything was prepared for 
the return; though the chiefs failed to turn in all 
the slaves, some were surrendered. As the main ob- 
jects of the expedition had been gained, the party 
returned to Monrovia. 

Prom 1838 to 1840 there had been war between the 
Dey and Gk>lah tribes in which the Golah gained 
the advantage. The Dey suffered so much that their 
remnant took refuge in the colony. A number of 
them were living on the farms of colonists near Mills- 
burg; suddenly Gatumba, a Golah chief, burst upon 
them, wounding four dreadfully and carrying twelve 
into slavery; the entire number would have been 
killed or captured had not the colonists, hearing guns, 
appeared and rescued them. The attackers fled. 
Notice was sent to Governor Buchanan, and he at once 
hastened thither ; he prepared for difficulties and kept 
strict watch; a letter was sent to Gatumba, demand- 
ing an explanation and requesting a palaver at Mills- 
burg; an insulting reply was returned; Gatumba 
intimated that he was prepared for battle, did not 
intend to attack the Americans, but would not per- 
mit their interference. Returning to Monrovia, 
Buchanan assembled his principal officers, laid the 
matter before them, and proposed attacking Gatum- 
ba 's colony before he should attack Millsburg. His 
officers thought it best to send another message to 
the chief; five messengers were sent, were fired upon, 
and three of them were taken prisoners. Several 
days passed when, on March 8, 1840, Gatumba burst 



84 LIBERIA. 

upon Heddington and would have murdered every- 
body in the place had they not in a measure been 
prepared. The battle took place at the house of Mis- 
sionary Brown; two Americans from Caldwell were 
living with Brown at the time; a desperate attack 
was made at daybreak by from 300 to 400 men; 
against them were three black Americans sheltered 
by the house; all had guns and considerable ammu- 
nition; the attack was frightful, and the numbers 
great; the battle continued for almost an hour, and 
the ammunition was nearly gone ; Qotorah, a notable 
cannibal, at the head of his best warriors, made a rush 
and came within ten feet of the door ; Harris, handed 
a loaded gun by a town native, poured a heavy charge 
into the advancing leader, who fell hideously man- 
gled ; his fall caused panic and flight to his followers. 
The battle over, notice of the event was sent to 
Buchanan, who was at Little Bassa; hastening to 
Heddington, he found the place fortified in prepara* 
tion for a second attack ; the people above the settle- 
ment were in alarm; Gatumba was reported to be 
preparing for vengeance. Buchanan determined 
upon immediate attack on Gatumba 's town; with 200 
men, arms, ammunition, and a week's provisions, they 
were to start in boats for Millsburg. Rumors of an 
approaching hostile force delayed their departure; 
but, on the second day, embarcation was made and 
Millsburg reached ; from there the line of march was 
taken by 300 men with a piece of artillery; sixty of 
the party were Kru carriers and forty were native 
allies, so that the really effective force consisted of 
some 200 men ; the cannon was dragged for six miles 
with great labor and was then abandoned; the rain 
was falling in torrents when, at two o'clock, they 
reached a ruined walled town which had at one time 
been destroyed by Gatumba ; as some huts still stood 
and the site was high, a camp was made. The next 
day the line was formed again and, in spite of the 
flooded trail and swollen streams, the party continued 
to Gatumba 's town. As they neared, an attack upon 



HISTORY. 85 

them was made from ambush and Capt. Snetter fell 
mortally wounded; the men rushed forward and dis- 
lodged the enemy ; the music struck up, and a lively 
advance was made; for nearly six miles they were 
exposed to shooting from the thick forest, but rushed 
on ; the town was found well barricaded ; Buchanan 
ran up with his aids, Col. Lewis and Gen. Roberts, 
to the margin of the open field, where he found John- 
son vigorously engaged with the people of the town 
and with an ambush; the third company now came 
up and joined the combat.' Such was the vigor of 
their attack that the enemy, taken with panic, rushed 
from the town by a rear gate into the forest; the 
Liberian forces entered in triumph. By this victory 
the strength of Gatumba was completely prostrated. 
During Buchanan's administration a serious diffi- 
culty arose with the mission of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. The superintendent of its interests 
at the time was the Rev. John Seyes ; he was a man 
of considerable ability and force of character, but 
was highly opinionated; the mission had found that 
trade goods was the best means of remitting from 
their treasury in America to their stations in Africa ; 
it was the ruling of the colony that goods necessary 
for carrying on the work of missions should be ad- 
mitted free of duty; a difference arose between Gov- 
ernor Buchanan and Mr. Seyes in reference to the 
goods being introduced by the mission for trading 
purposes with natives — Buchanan holding, very 
justly, that free admission should be granted only for 
supplies for the personal use of missionaries. The 
undutiable goods introduced by the missionaries en- 
abled them to undersell the colonial merchants, who 
had to pay the regular fees. The Governor was firm 
in his attitude and demanded that all goods which 
were to be used for trade purposes should pay their 
duties; the Colonization Society stood behind the 
Governor in his course; the community, however, 
was rent in twain — great excitement prevailed — and 



86 LIBEBU. 

' there were practically two parties, the Seyes people 
and the government supporters. 

In 1840 it was evident that there was destined to 
be serious trouble with English traders settling in 
the neighborhood of the Mano River. On account of 
threatening complications, Buchanan sent an agent 
to England to inquire as to the purposes of such set- 
tlers and the attitude of the British Government in 
the matter. On September 3, 1841, Buchanan died 
at Bassa Cove. His death was a serious loss, but 
fortunately the man was ready who was competent 
to take up his work and carry it through to a suc- 
cessful conclusion. 

This man was Joseph Jenkin Roberts, who was 
appointed Gtovemor by the Colonization Society and 
who held the office for. six years; at the end of that 
time the Society itself severed its relation to the 
settlements. Roberts was a mulatto; he was bom in 
Virginia, in 1809; he went to Liberia in 1829 and 
at once engaged in trade ; he was at the head of the 
Liberian force in its war against Gatumba. His six 
years of governorship were on the whole successful 
ones, although it was at this time that difficulties 
began with Prance. In 1842 the French Government 
attempted to secure a foothold at Cape Mount, Bassa 
Cove, Butu, and Garawe ; this occurrence caused con- 
siderable anxiety, but the matter seemed to be 
finished without serious results ; long afterwards this 
attempt was made the basis of claims which troubled 
the Republic. Roberts recognized the importance of 
strengthening Liberian titles to territory; he pur- 
sued an active policy of acquiring new areas and 
strengthening the hold of the Commonwealth upon 
its older possesisons. John B. Russwurm was at this 
time the Governor of Maryland; Roberts consulted 
with him in regard to public policy, and between 
them they agreed upon the levying of uniform 6 per 
cent ad valorem duties upon all imports. During his 
governorship Roberts visited the tjnited States; he 
was well received and made a good impression; as 



HISTORY. 87 

a result of his visit, an American squadron visited 
the coast of West Africa; difficulties, however, were 
brewing; Roberts found the English and other for- 
eigners unwilling to pay customs duties; they took 
the ground that Liberia was not an actual govern- 
ment and had no right to levy duties on shipping 
and foreign trade. On account of its failure to pay 
duties, the Little Ben, an English trading boat, was 
seized ; in retaliation the John Seyes, belonging to a 
Liberian named Benson, was seized and sold for 
£2000. Appeals were made to the United States and 
to the Society for support; the United States made 
some inquiries of the British Government ; the Amer- 
ican representations, however, were put modestly and 
half-heartedly; to them Great Britain replied that 
she ** could not recognize the sovereign powers of 
Liberia, which she regarded as a mere commercial 
experiment of a philanthropic society.'' It was clear 
that a crisis had been reached; the Society of course 
could do nothing; the American Gfovemment was 
timid in its support ; if Liberia was to act at all, she 
must act for herself. Recognizing the situation, in 
1846 the Society resolved that it was ** expedient for 
the people to take into their own hands'' the man- 
agement of their affairs, and severed relations which 
had bound Liberia to it. The Liberians themselves 
called for a constitutional convention, which began 
its session the 25th of June, 1847 ; on July 26th the 
Declaration of Independence was made and the Con- 
stitution of the Liberian Republic was adopted. The 
flag consisted of eleven stripes, alternately red and 
wWte ; the field, blue, bore a single white star. It -is 
suggested that the meaning of the flag is this: The 
three colors indicate the three counties into which 
the Republic is divided; the eleven stripes represent 
the eleven signers of the Declaration and the Consti- 
tution; the lone star indicates the uniqueness of the 
African Republic, 



Moreover, here is a wonder such as Solomon in all his wis- 
dom conceived not of, when he said^ ''there is nothing new 
under the sun." Here on Africa's shores, the wilderness to 
which our fathers came but as yesterday, in ignorance, penury 
and want, — we have builded us towns and villages, and now 
are about to form a Bepublic — ^nay, nor was it thought of by 
the wise men of Europe and America. — H. J. B. 

1847—1913. 

The election was held in October, and Joseph 
Jenkin Boberts, the Governor of the Commonwealth, 
was elected to the new. office of President of the Re- 
public. One of his earliest acts was to visit Europe 
in order to ask the recognition of the new nation b^ 
European countries. The first to recognize the Re- 
public was Great Britain ; France was second. As it 
may be interesting to know just what powers have so 
far recognized Liberia as a nation, the list is pre- 
sented in the order of their recognition, the date of 
recognition being placed within parenthesis: — Great 
Britain (1848); France (1852); Lubeck (1855); 
Bremen (1855) ; Hamburg (1855) ; Belgium (1858) ; 
Denmark (1860); United States (1862); Italy 
(1862); Sweden and Norway (1863); Holland 
(1863); Hayti (1864); Portugal (1865). 

Of Roberts, Mr. Thomas, in his West Coast of 
Africa, says: ''We called on President Roberts and 
family. Mrs. and Miss Roberts are most intelligent 
and interesting personages, speak English and 
French fluently, and are, in all respects, well bred 
and refined. I suppose that they have colored blood 
enough in them to swear by, but they might travel 
through every State in the Union without ever being 
suspected of having any connection with the sable 
progeny of Ham. Miss Roberts is a blue-eyed 
blonde, having light brown hair and rosy cheeks ; yet 

88 



HISTORY. 89 

she is a genuine African in the know-nothing sense 
of genuineness, having been born in the woods of 
Liberia. The Ex-President is tall and well propor- 
tioned, colorless in complexion — hope the reader can 
tolerate a paradox — but plainly indicating his Afri- 
can extraction by a very kinky head of wool, of which, 
his friends say, he is very proud. We have spoken of 
his oflScial character. In intelligence and moral in- 
tegrity he is a superior man, and in the interview of 
that morning displayed much of that excellence 
in conversation and elegance of manner that have 
rendered him so popular in the courts of France and 
England. The best evidence of his practical good 
sense was displayed in a visit, which he made a few 
years ago, to his colored relatives and his white 
friends in his native state of Virginia. In every 
circle he knew his place, and conducted himself in 
such a manner as to win great favor among bond and 
free.'' 

It was while he was in London, in 1848, that Mr. 
Roberts, at a dinner given by the Prussian Ambas- 
sador, met Lord Ashley and Mr. Gurley, and 
received from them promises of assistance for pur- 
chasing the land in the neighborhood of the 
Gallinhas River. He was well treated everywhere; 
he was received by Queen Victoria upon her royal 
yacht in April ; the British Admiralty presented the 
Republic with a war vessel, the Lark; he was re- 
turned to Monrovia on the British war-ship Amazon. 
Roberts was re-elected president for two subsequent 
terms, holding office until the end of 1855. During 
his administration there were a number of disorders 
among the natives which needed settlement; thus, in 
1850, the Vai, Dey, and Golah were quarreling; this 
was during the absence of the President. In March, 
1853, Roberts, with 200 men, went to the region of 
Cape Mount in order to quiet the disturbance. The 
Grando War, in Grand Bassa, called for vigorous 
action, and Chief Grando continued to give trouble 
at intervals from 1850 to 1853. On the whole, the 



90 LIBERIA. 

Roberts administrations were successful, and the 
country was greatly strengthened under his direction. 

If Roberts was a mulatto, so light that he might 
easily have passed for a white man, his successor, 
Stephen Allen Benson, was black enough. This is 
amusingly brought out in an incident given by 
Thomas, which no doubt has some basis in fact, if 
it is not literally true. Thomas claims to quote a 
conversation between Capt. White of Virginia, while 
walking through Monrovia, and a former slave whom 
he had known as *'Buck" (now '*Col. Brown'')- 
The Captain asked, *' Which of the candidates for the 
presidency are you going to vote for?" **0h, Ben- 
son, sir." *'Has not Roberts made you a good presi- 
dent?" *'0h, yes." **He is a very smart man," 
continued the Captain, *'and much respected abroad. 
I think you had better vote for him." ** That's all 
true" — Colonel becomes quite animated — '*but the 
fac's just this, Massa White; the folks say as how 
we darkies ain't fitten to take care o' oursel's — ^ain't 
capable. Roberts is a very fine gentleman, but he's 
more white than black. Benson's colored people all 
over. There's no use talking government, an' making 
laws, an' tMt kind o' things, if they ain't going to 
keep um up. I vote for Benson, sir, case I wants 
to faiow if we's going to stay ni^er or turn monkey." 

Stephen Allen B^ison was born in Maryland, in 
1816; he removed to Liberia in 1822; he was cap- 
tured and held by the natives for some little time; 
he was inaugurated President in January, 1856. 
During his administration Napoleon III presented 
the Republic with the HirondeUe and equipment for 
1000 armed men. During his administration there 
were various troubles with the coast natives, espe- 
cially in the neighborhood of Cape Palmas; in the 
month of January, 1857, the difficulty was so serious 
that the very existence of the colony tod the Ameri- 
can missionaries at Cape Palmas were threatened. 
A force of Liberian soldiers under Ex-President Rob- 
erts was sent upon an English war steamer to their 



HISTORY. 91 

relief; the arrival of so considerable a force awed 
the natives and led to a palaver; the natives prom- 
ised submission and an indemnity for the destruction 
they had caused. 

The independent colony of Maryland in Liberia 
had had a fairly successful existence. Their first 
governor, J. B. Russwurm, died in 1851. He was 
succeeded by McGill, and he by Prout. At the time 
of the Grebo War, J. B. Drayton was Governor. 
Largely as a result of this trouble it was decided that 
Maryland should join with the other colonies and 
become a part of the Republic ; this annexation took 
place February 28, 1857, ten days after the ending 
of the Grebo War. 

A curious incident took place in 1858. The French 
ship, Begina Coeli, arrived on the Kru Coast, and the 
Captain treated with Kru chiefs for men to be 
i^ipped as laborers; the men supposed that they 
were shipped for a trip along the west coast, as usual, 
to serve as seamen ; learning, however, that their des- 
tination was the West Indies, they became alarmed 
and believed that they were to be sold into slavery; 
the Captain was still on shore, treating with the 
chiefs; the men mutinied, seized the ship, and killed 
all the white crew except the doctor; they then re- 
turned to shore and left the ship without a crew ; had 
she not been noticed by a passing En^ish steamer, she 
would no doubt have been wrecked; she was taken 
into a Liberian port. The French Government inves- 
tigated the matter, but it was clearly shown that the 
Liberian Republic was in no way responsible for 
the incident. 

In 1860 troubles with British traders in the region 
of the Mano River began; these are so fully dis- 
cussed in another place that we need not present the 
facts here. 

A great deal of trouble was encountered by the 
Republic in preventing smuggling by foreign ships; 
as it was impossible to adequately man all the ports 
along the coast with customs-officers, a law was 



<- 

92 LIBERIA. 

passed naming certain Ports of Entry at which only 
it was permitted for foreign boats to trade; this 
rendered the detection of illegal trade and smuggling 
easier. 

In 1864 Daniel Bashiel Warner became President. 
He was a native of the United States, born April 18, 
1815. It was during his administration that the 
Ports of Entry Law was passed; it was also during 
his term that an immigration of 300 West Indian 
negroes took place; among those who came at that 
time were the parents of Arthur Barclay, later promi- 
nent in Liberian politics; Arthur Barclay himself 
was a child at the time. 

In 1868 James Spriggs Payne became President. 
He was a clergyman of some literary ability ; he was 
author of a small treatise upon political economy; 
during his first administration he sent Benjamin 
Anderson on an official expedition to the interior. 
Anderson penetrated as far as Musahdu, an impor- 
tant town of the Mandingo; Payne served a second 
term, but not immediately following his first; after 
him were President Roye and President Roberts; it 
was in 1876 Payne was inaugurated a second time. 

In 1870 Edward James Roye, a merchant and ship- 
owner, became President of the Republic; he was a 
full negro; he represented the **True Whig" party. 
His administration is notable for the turbulent char- 
acter of its events. It was under him that the famous 
loan of 1871 was made. Before he became President, 
an effort had been made to amend the Constitution 
in such a way as to make the presidential term four 
years instead of two; the amendment was not car- 
ried; when, however, his term of office neared its 
end, he proclaimed an extension of his period for two 
years. Public dissatisfaction with the loan and a 
feeling of outrage at this high-handed action aroused 
the people so that they rose against him ; in the strife 
several lives were lost; the President's house was 
sacked; search was made for him and one of his 
sons was caught and imprisoned; in the effort to 



HISTORY. 93 

escape to a British steamer standing in the harbor, it 
is said that he was drowned. Roye's deposition took 
place October 26, 1871. A committee of three was 
appointed to govern the nation until a new election 
could be held ; these gentlemen were Charles B. Dun- 
bar, R. A. Sherman, and Amos Herring. 

In this moment of public excitement and disorder 
the people looked to their old leader, and Joseph Jen- 
kin Roberts was again elected to the presidency ; this 
was his fifth term. His time was largely devoted to 
bringing about calm and order ; Benjamin Anderson, 
in 1874, made a second expedition to Musahdu; in 
1875 there was a war with the Gedebo (Grebo) of 
some consequence. 

After President Payne's second administration 
Anthony W. Gardner became President; he was in- 
augurated in 1878. It was under his administration 
that the difiBculties with England culminated, and 
Liberian territory was seized by British arms. In 
1879 took place what is known as the ** Carlos inci- 
dent;" the German steamer, Carlos, was wrecked at 
Nana Kru; the natives looted the vessel and abused 
the shipwrecked Germans who had landed in their 
boats; the Germans were robbed of everything they 
had succeeded in bringing to shore with them and 
were even stripped of their clothing ; they were com- 
pelled to walk along the beach to Greenville. The Ger- 
man warship, Victoria, was immediately despatched 
to the point of difficulty; she bombarded Nana Kru 
and the towns about ; she then proceeded to Monrovia 
and demanded £900 damages on behalf of the ship- 
wrecked Germans; the Government was unable to 
make prompt settlement and eventually paid the 
claim only under threat of a bombardment and with 
the help of European merchants in Monrovia. It 
was under President Gardner's direction that the 
Liberian Order of African Redemption was estab- 
lished ; the decoration of the order consists of a star 
with rays pendent from a wreath of olive ; upon the 
star is the seal of the Republic with the motto, THE 



94 LIBERIA. 

LOVE OP LIBERTY BROUGHT US HERE. Gard- 
ner was re-elected twice, but finally, in despair on ac- 
count of the misfortune which his nation was suflfering, 
resigned his ofSce in January, 1883; at his resigna- 
tion the Vice-President, A. P. Russell, took the chair. 

In 1883 there were two other difficulties with 
wrecked steamers. The Corisco, a British mail 
steamer belonging to the Elder Dempster Company, 
was wrecked near the mouth of the Grand Cesters 
River; the passengers and crew took to the boats, 
but were plundered by the natives when they landed ; 
the ship itself was also plundered ; the Liberian force 
punished the Grand Cesters people for this deed, and 
the British Government treated the matter in a 
friendly manner. About the same time the Senegal 
was wrecked upon the Liberian coast and plundered 
by the natives. It must be remembered, in connection 
with such events as these, that it has always been 
recognized along that coast, that the natives on the 
beach are entitled to whatever wreckage occurs upon 
their shores; it is very difficult to disabuse the na- 
tive mind of this long recognized principle and to 
teach them that they must leave wrecked vessels un- 
pillaged. It will be remembered that a difficulty of 
this same kind took place when the first settlers were 
living on Perseverance Island. In September, 1912, 
while we were in the interior of the Bassa country, a 
German boat of the Woermann Line was wrecked in 
front of Grand Bassa ; although this occurred within 
sight of one of the most important settlements in the 
Republic, the natives put out in their canoes and took 
from the sinking ship all its contents. 

In 1884 Hilary Richard Wright Johnson became 
President of the Republic. He was the first ** native 
son" to hold the office. He was the child of the oft- 
mentioned Elijah Johnson, one of the first settlers. 
Hilary was born at Monrovia, June 1, 1837; he 
graduated from the Alexander High School, on the 
St. Paul's River, in 1857; for seven years he was 
the private secretary of President Benson; in 1859 



HISTORY. 95 

he became editor of the Liberian Herald, continuing 
to be so for two years; in 1861 he was elected to 
the House of Representatives; in 1862 he visited 
England and other countries with President Benson ; 
he was Secretary of State under President Warner, 
and Professor of English and Philosophy in Liberia 
College ; in 1870 he was Secretary of the Interior 
under President Roye, but resigned his office on ac- 
count of difference of opinion with him; during the 
provisional government and during President Rob- 
erts* final administration he was Secretary of State; 
he became President in 1884 and served eight years; 
after he left the presidential chair, he was for some 
time Postmaster-Gteneral ; he died at Monrovia in 
1900. It was in President Johnson's administration 
that the boundary dispute so long pending with Great 
Britain was settled, the Mano River being recognized 
as the limit of Liberian territory; through a very 
considerable part of his time of service efforts were 
being made toward adjusting the unfortunate affairs 
connected with the loan of 1871; at the very close 
of Johnson's term of office trouble with the French 
began by their claim on October 26th of the Cavalla 
River boundary. 

Joseph James Cheeseman was the next President, 
beinsT inaueniratod in lf^92. TTo was born in 1843 at 
Edina, and was trained for the ministry by his 
father ; he was ordained as pastor of the First Bap- 
tist Church in Edina in November, 1868. He was a 
man of energy ; in 1893 he found the third Gedebo 
War upon his hands: he secured two trunboats — ^the 
Rocktown and the Oorronama — ^to patrol the coast 
for the prevention of smuggling; durinpr his admin- 
istration the use of paper currency was abolished and 
gold payment established. He was twice re-elected 
and died in office in the middle of his third term, 
November 15, 1896. The Vice-President, William 
David Coleman, took the presidency and, at the close 
of his filling of the unexpired term, was elected to 
the presidency. 



96 LIBERU. 

William David Coleman was a resident of Clay- 
Ashland. His term was rather troubled ; his interior 
policy was unpopular ; he quarreled with his legisla- 
ture; and finally resigned in December, 1900, under 
threat of impeachment. As there was no vice-presi- 
dent at the time, the Secretary of State, G. W. Gib- 
son, succeeded to his office. It was during President 
Coleman's administration that Germany offered, in 
1897, to take over Liberia as a protected territory; 
the oflfer was refused, but certainly is interesting. 
Germany has watched with some concern the con- 
stant encroachments of Great Britain and France 
upon Liberian territory and sovereign rights; having 
no territorial boundary herself, she is unable to pur- 
sue their methods; she is watching, however, and 
unless, as some suspect, there is an actual under- 
standing between Great Britain and France, as to 
the eventual complete division of the Republic be- 
tween them, it is certain that, when the German 
Government thinks Liberia's neighbors are going too 
far in their land piracy, she herself will take a hand 
and grasp the whole Republic. Such at least is a 
possibility not infrequently suggested. 

Garretson Warner Gibson was born in Baltimore, 
Maryland, May 20, 1832 ; he was but three years old 
when he went with his parents to Cape Palmas; he 
was educated under Bishop Payne and became a 
teacher in the mission school at Cavalla; in 1851 he 
went to the United States for the purpose of study- 
ing, returning to Cape Palmas two years later. In 
1854 he was made deacon by Bishop Payne, the first 
ordained in the African field ; he later became priest 
and preached and taught through a period of years 
until 1858, when he came to Monrovia to open up a 
church. He occupied a variety of political offices, 
but under Gardner, Cheeseman, and Colemaii was 
Secretary of State ; on the resignation of Coleman he 
filled out his term, and was himself elected President 
for the period from 1902 to 1904. He was three times 
president of Liberia College and was always inter- 



HISTORY. 97 

ested in educational affairs; in 1908 he was a mem- 
ber of the commission which visited the United States; 
he died at Monrovia April 26, 1910. 

In 1904 Arthur Barclay became president. We 
have already stated that he was a native of the West 
Indies, having been born at Barbados in 1854; he 
was of pure African parentage ; his parents took him 
with them to Liberia in 1865; graduating from 
Liberia College in 1873, he became private secretary 
to President Eoberts; after filling various minor 
offices, he became, in 1892, Postmaster-General, in 
1894, Secretary of State, and in 1896, Secretary of 
the Treasury. He served two terms of two years 
each; during the second of these terms the Consti- 
tution was amended and the term of office of the 
President extended to four years ; in 1908 President 
Barclay entered upon his third term of office, this 
time for the longer period. Arthur Barclay is a man 
of extraordinary ability; he has for years been the 
acknowledged leader of the Liberian bar; many of 
the most important incidents of Liberian history 
occurred within his period of administration; most 
of them, however, are connected with the vital prob- 
lems of the Republic and their discussion will be 
found elsewhere. 

The present executive of the Liberian Republic is 
Daniel Edward Howard. He assumed office January 
1st and 2nd, 1912 ; at his inauguration one day was 
given to the native chiefs, a new feature in inaugura- 
tion, and one to be encouraged. In his inaugural 
address President Howard laid particular stress upon 
agriculture, education, and the native policy. He is 
the third ''native son" to hold the presidential office. 
His father was Thomas Howard, who for years was 
chairman of the Republic* Of him Ellis says : * * Com- 
paratively a young man, Secretary Howard is a nat- 
ural leader of men. Frank, honest, and decisive, he 
may be truly described^ as the Mark Hanna of 
Liberian politics. He received his education at 
Liberia College and in the study and management of 

7. 



98 UBERIA. 

men. Proud of his race and country, he is to my 
mind today the strongest single factor in the Liberian 
Republic. He has large influence with the aboriginals 
because of his ability to speak fluently a number of 
native tongues, and he is usually relied upon to settle 
the native palavers and diflSculties. He is chairman 
of the National True Whig Committee, and for years 
has been keeping in touch with, and commanding the 
great forces of his party. It is said of him that to 
his friends he is as true as steel, and that he does not 
know what it is to break a promise." 

President Howard has an able Cabinet, liberal 
views, and the courage of his convictions. 

Of men not actually in the present government, but 
of commanding influence and significance, two must 
be mentioned. No clear understanding of the present 
trend of Liberian affairs is possible without some 
knowledge of their personality. Here again we quote 
from Ellis: '* Secretary Johnson is the grandson of 
Elijah Johnson, the historic Liberian patriot, who 
by his wisdom and courage saved the infant colony 
of Liberia from early extirpation; and the son of 
the late Ex-President Hilary Johnson, one of Liberia's 
notable public men. Secretary Johnson is proud and 
dignified in his bearing, scholarly in his attainments, 
and fluent in his speech. For years he has acknowl- 
edged no superior, and has been recognized as a close 
competitor of President Barclay at the bar. He has 
enjoyed extensive foreign travel and has had a varied 
public experience. He has served on two important 
foreign missions, and at different times has been 
Postmaster-General, Attorney-General, and is now 
Secretary of State.'' It will be seen of course from 
the contents of these quotations from Ellis that his 
article was written just before Barclay's administra- 
tion ended. There is no man in Liberia who has a 
more complete grasp upon Liberian problems than 
F. E. R. Johnson. At the time of the visit of the 
American Commission to Monrovia, he presented for 



HISTORY. 99 

their study and examination a defense of the Liberian 
position, which was masterly. 

Of Vice-President Dossen — now Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court — Ellis says: **He is a man of mag- 
nificent physique and splendid intellectual powers, 
aggressive ahd proud in spirit, ready and forceful in 
language, he has enjoyed a useful public record. For 
ten years he was Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court and compiled the publication of the Supreme 
Court Decisions. He served as envoy extraordinary 
to France and to the United States, and now presides 
with becoming dignity over the deliberations of the 
Liberian Senate.'* It was a matter of serious dis- 
appointment to us, that we were unable to meet John 
J. Dossen when in Liberia; he is certainly one of 
the best men in Liberian public life today; much is 
still to be expected from him. 



PROBLEMS 

I have heard men express preferences. They have made 
mention of whom they desire to rale over them if the worst 
should come upon us nationally. Some are rampant after 
American associations; some are enamoured of the English; 
some would have the Germans, others the French. Personally I 
indulge no such predilections. They argue an abandonment of 
hope; they display a lack of vitality; they are an absolute ad- 
mission of incapacity and of failure. For my part I am a 
Liberian first and last and my desire is that Liberia should 
endure till the heavens fall, that this country be controlled by 
Liberians for Liberians. But I also desire that these Liberians 
be tolerant; that they be prescient; that they be energetic, in- 
dustrious, and public-spirited; that they be courageous in 
shouldering their national responsibilities; that they he liberal 
and that they become a great and glorious people, unanimous 
in sentiment, united in action, abounding in all the virtues 
which make a nation powerful, perpetual and enduring. — 
E. Barclay. 

BOUNDARY QUESTIONS. 

The most pressing and ever urgent question which 
the Republic has to face is the protection of its fron- 
tier against aggression; Liberia has two powerful 
neighbors, both of which are land-hungry and are 
continually pressing upon her borders; she has 
already lost large slices of her territory and is still 
menaced with further loss. 

FIRST BRITISH AGGRESSION. 

Shortly after his election to the presidency of the 
Republic, President J. J. Roberts visited Europe. He 
was well received both in England and France. On 
one occasion, in 1848, when he was dining in London 
with the Prussian Ambassador, the conversation dealt 
with the diflSculties which the Liberian settlers had 

100 



PROBLEMS. 101 

with the native chiefs along the Gallinhas Biver; 
these hostilities were kept alive by, slave traders who 
had their trading stations near the river's mouth; 
these difficulties had generally been incited and 
directed by a chief named Mano. Among the guests 
who were present at the dinner were Lord Ashley and 
Mr. Gurney; it was suggested that an end might be 
put to these difficulties and the anti-slavery cause 
advanced, if Liberia would purchase this territory; 
considerable interest was aroused by the suggestion, 
and through Lord Ashley's effort the necessary 
money was raised for consummating the purchase. 
On his return to Liberia, President Roberts entered 
into negotiations which extended from 1849 to 1856, 
by which the land was gradually acquired; the area 
secured stretched from the Mano River to the Sewa 
and Sherbro Island on the west. Through the an- 
nexation of this territory, Liberia's domain extended 
from Cape Lahon to the eastward of Cape Palmas, 
west to the border of Sierra Leone, a distance of 600 
miles. This acquisition of territory was attended 
with considerable difficulty; the influence of traders, 
of slavers, and even of England herself was thrown 
in the way of the negotiations — so Commodore Foote 
tells us. Nor did the acquisition of the territory put 
an end to the difficulties in that region. In the year 
1860 John Myers Harris, an English trader, had es- 
tablished himself in the country between the Mano 
and Sulima Rivers and refused to acknowledge 
Liberia's authority; as he was conducting a flagrant 
trade in contravention of Liberian laws of commerce. 
President Benson sent a coast guard to seize two 
schooners, the Phoebe and Emily, which had been 
consigned to him; the seizure was made between 
Cape Mount and Mano Point, clearly Liberian terri- 
tory. It is curious that this seizure was made by a 
Liberian government vessel, the Quail, which had 
been a gift to the Republic from Great Britain. "We 
have, then, a vessel, contributed through British sym- 
pathy, operating within an area secured through 



102 LIBERIA. 

British philanthropy, against law-breaking indulged 
in by British subjects. The captured schooners were 
taken to Liberia and were held for legal adjudica- 
tion; under the orders of the Sierra Leone Govern- 
ment, the British gunboat, Torch, appeared at Mon- 
rovia, and seized the two schooners by force on De- 
cember 17; at the same time the commander of this 
gunboat demanded from the Liberian Government a 
penalty of fifteen pounds per day for nineteen days' 
detention. Shortly after these events, President 
Benson, on his way to England for public business, 
visited the government of Sierra Leone and tried to 
adjust the difiSculties which had arisen; he was, 
however, referred to London. At about this time 
part of the disputed territory was annexed by Sierra 
Leone to her own area. While in London, Benson 
took up the matter with the British Government. 
Lord Russell acknowledged the territorial rights of 
Liberia to extend from the coast east of Turner Point 
(Mattru) to the San Pedro River on the east, thus 
admitting the point for which Liberia contended. 
This decision was by no means satisfactory to the 
troublers in Africa. Harris agitated the matter in 
dispute. Backed by Governor Hall of Sierra Leone, 
he and neighboring traders protested against the con- 
cession Russell had made. A commission was there- 
fore appointed and met at Monrovia April 25, 1863, 
continuing in session until May 4, when it adjourned 
without decision. The British Commissioners exam- 
ined the title deeds held by Liberia and were inclined 
to recognize some of these and to refuse others ; they 
objected to Liberia's possessing any territory beyond 
the Mano River, and proposed that river as the 
boundary. The Liberian Commissioners demurred, 
urging the validity of the deeds they showed and pro- 
posing that the Sherbro should be their northwest 
boundary; they asserted a good title to the terri- 
tories known as Cassee, Gumbo, and Muttru. The 
British Commissioners based their claims upon let- 
ters from the chiefs of the territories involved and on 



PROBLEMS. 103 

statements which they asserted had been made by 
them. The Commission broke up without a settle- 
ment, as the Liberians held strictly to the conces- 
sion which Lord Russell had previously made. Lon- 
don, however, yielding to the colonial pressure, re- 
gretted that no solution had been reached, and 
claimed that it was ** justified in view of the facts" 
in only recognizing Liberia's sovereignty over 
Sugaree. The closing* episode in this exchange of 
views was the sending of a letter by Dr. Blyden, who 
was then Secretary of State for the Republic, which 
ran as follows: **The President is equally grieved 
that the oral statements of barbarous and heathen 
chiefs on a subject affecting the prosperity of a rising 
Christian state should be regarded by Her Majesty's 
Government as entitled to more weight than the 
statements of Christian men supported by written 
documents and by the known local conduct of the 
chiefs towards the Liberian Government since the 
cession of their territories until very recently." 

As might be expected, the troubles did not cease. 
Traders continued to smuggle ; local chiefs continued 
to harass; shipping continued to bid defiance to 
Liberian laws ; vessels continued to be seized ; threats 
continued to be made. Harris began to act almost as 
if he were an independent chief within this terri- 
tory; there were various tribes about him, and some 
of them were inclined to resist his exactions; dis- 
putes with him aroused the Vai to undertake repri- 
sals; Harris organized the Gallinhas peoples in an 
attack upon the Vai; the Liberian Government sent 
forces in 1869 to aid the Vai, who were loyal to 
them. The Gallinhas natives were defeated, fled, and 
in their rage turning on Harris, destroyed one of his 
factories; this of course gave him a basis for new 
claims for damages. On this military expedition 
some property had been destroyed or confiscated. 
Thus new difficulties grew up; there were occasional 
seizures, retaliatory threats, demands for damages, 
shows of force. Naturally, the hostile chiefs living 



104 LIBERIA. 

in the Mano District, encouraged by the unsettled 
conditions, raided and destroyed Liberian settle- 
ments; things presently were critical, and in 1871 
another expedition was despatched by the Liberian 
Government into Mano and Sulima; property was 
destroyed, including powder and goods belonging to 
British owners ; the usual demands for damages were 
made, and these demands known as the ^^Mano Biver 
Claims" were pending until 1882. 

Between the constant pushing of the ** Harris 
Claims" and the **Mano Eiver Claims," things 
finally came to a head in December, 1878. A new 
commission was then appointed which met in 1879, 
first at Sierra Leone, then at Sulima; Commodore 
Shufeldt, of the American navy, was chosen as an 
arbitrator between the two contestants. The ** Harris 
Claims" by this time amounted to some 6000 pounds. 
The conduct of Great Britain on this occasion was 
supercilious. The Liberian Commissioners, after 
reaching Sierra Leone, were kept waiting for three 
weeks before the British Commissioners made their 
appearance; the commissioners examined the title 
deeds of the Liberian Government and took oral tes- 
timony of witnesses favorable to and hostile to the 
Liberian claims. The Liberians claimed the terri- 
tories known as Sugaree, Mano, Bock River, and 
Sulima; the British Commissioners took the ground 
that no such countries were in existence. The meet- 
ing was rather stormy; Shufeldt reduced the ** Har- 
ris Claims" to £3000, but the British Commissioners 
were not inclined either in this matter or in others 
to abide by the decision of the umpire; finally the 
Commission broke up without accomplishing any 
good results. The British claimed that Sierra Leone 
should undertake the protectorate of the whole coun- 
try as far as the Mano River, as they said Liberia 
was unable to maintain order west of that point. 
''Undoubtedly they were unable to fight British trad- 
ers, since every time they used force, marine or 
military, the said traders were able to command the 



PROBLEMS. 105 

armed interference of the Sierra Leone Government." 
The matter was again referred to London; nothing 
final was there done. 

Matters reached a crisis when, on March 20, 1882, 
Sir Arthur Havelock, governor of Sierra Leone, with 
four gunboats appeared before Monrovia and de- 
manded that the Republic should pay an indemnity of 
£8,500 to settle all outstanding claims, and that it 
should accept the Maflfa River as a boundary. The 
Liberian Government yielded to these insistent 
claims. They promised to pay the indemnity, ad- 
mitted the Maffa River as a temporary boundary, 
and agreed to receive from Great Britain a money 
pa3anent in return for what she had expended for 
the purchase of the disputed territory. Before the 
Liberian Government yielded, she set up a statement 
of her own position which was just and dignified. 
As soon as the action of the government was known 
at Monrovia, Havelock having returned to Sierra 
Leone, violent hostility arose; the Senate rejected 
the treaty; the Liberians asked that the whole mat- 
ter be submitted to arbitration. On September 7, 
Sir Arthur Havelock again appeared with gunboats, 
demanding immediate ratification of the treaty. 
Liberia again raised her defense: ''If the contested 
territory was British, why did the British Govern- 
ment claim from Liberia an indemnity for acts of 
violence amongst the natives which had taken ^laee 
thereon? If, however, Liberia acknowledged her re- 
sponsibility, as she had done, and agreed to pay an 
indemnity, why should she be in addition deprived 
of territories for the law and order of which she 
was held responsible, and which were hers by acts 
of purchase admitted by the British Government?'* 
The Senate again refused to ratify the treaty. Sir 
Arthur Havelock sailed away; but in March, 1883, 
the Sierra Leone Government seized the territories 
in question between Sherbro and the Mano River, 
territories which from first to last had cost Liberia 
£20,000. The whole matter was finally settled by a 



106 LIBERIA. 

treaty signed at London, Nov. 11, 1885, whereby 
the river Mano was admitted to be the western 
boundary; a badly defined interior line was agreed 
upon ; a repayment of £4750 of purchase money was 
made to Liberia. 

THE KANRE-LAHUN AFFAIR. 

The next act of serious aggression on the part of 
Great Britain grew out of the bad definition of the 
interior boundary by the treaty of 1885. The Mano 
River had been recognized as the boundary between 
Sierra Leone and Liberia. The question now arose 
as to whether the two parties enjoyed equal rights of 
freedom on the river. The Liberian Government at- 
tempted to secure to Liberian traders and to 
foreigners resident in Liberia the rights to free navi- 
gation on the river without subjection to the payment 
of customs dues and other charges to the Sierra Leone 
Government. The matter became of sufficient conse- 
quence to call for a commission in the year 1901. 
Three Liberians, among them Arthur Barclay, then 
Secretary of the Treasury (later President of the 
Republic), were appointed; the meeting was held in 
London and led to the following memorandum of 
agreement between His Majesty's Government and 
the Liberian Republic. 

1. His Majesty's Government are prepared to 
accede to the requests of the Liberian Government 
that a British officer should be deputed to demarcate 
the Anglo-Liberian Boundary. 

2. They are also ready to lend the services of a 
British officer for employment by the Liberian Gov- 
ernment in the demarcation of the Franco-Liberian 
Boundary whenever the Liberian Government shall 
have made an arrangement with the French Govern- 
ment for such demarcation. 

3. The Liberian Government undertakes to repay 
to His Majesty's Government the whole of any cost 
incurred by them in connection with the survey and 
demarcation of the Anglo-Liberian Frontier. 



PROBLEMS. 107 

4. His Majesty's Government are willing that, in 
lieu of the Governor of Sierra Leone acting as British 
Consul to Liberia, arrangements shall be made where- 
by some other British officer shall be Consul in the 
Republic. 

5. His Majesty's Government undertakes the 
survey of the Kru Coast, provided the Liberian Gov- 
ernment will throw open to foreign trade the native 
ports on the coast. 

6. With regard to the navigation on the Mano 
River, His Majesty's Government are prepared to 
permit the Government of the Liberian Republic and 
its citizens to trade on that river, provided that it 
is not to be considered actual right, and if, in return, 
the Government of Sierra Leone is allowed to con- 
nect by bridges and ferries the two banks of the river 
with any roads or trade-routes in the neighborhood. 

7. The Government of the Liberian Republic have 
expressed a desire for closer union with Great Bri- 
tain: His Majesty's Government are actuated by 
the most friendly feelings toward the Republic; and 
with the view of meeting their wishes in this respect, 
so far as it is consistent with the declaration made 
by His Majesty's government in connection with 
other powers, will at all times be ready to advise 
them in matters affecting the welfare of Liberia, and 
to confer with the Government of the Republic as 
to the best means of securing its independence and 
the integrity of its territory. 

When this agreement was submitted to the Senate 
of Liberia for ratification, they made the following 
amendments : 

Section 1. Amended to read, that the Liberian 
Government shall depute an officer or officers to be 
associated with the British officer in demarcating the 
Anglo-Liberian Boundary. 

Action 2. Amended to read, that the Liberian 
Government shall depute an officer or officers to be 
associated with the British and French pfficers in 
demarcating the Franco-Liberian Frontier. 



108 LIBEBU. 

Section 5. The Senate, not perceiving the advis- 
ability of throwing the coast open for the present, is 
under the necessity of withholding its vote in favor 
of this section. 

Section 7. Amended to read, *'One bridge at the 
place where the Liberian Customs House is now 
erected, and one ferry at the place where the second 
Liberian Customs House may hereafter be erected; 
that said bridge and ferry will be accessible to the 
citizens of the Liberian Government without any re- 
strictions or extra toll, or charges, more than is 
required to be paid by the subjects of His Majesty's 
Government. 

The British Government left the settlement of the 
details of that portion of the agreement which had 
reference to the navigation of the Mano River to be 
settled between the Liberian Government and the 
Government of Sierra Leone. The colonial govern- 
ment imposed such restrictions that no understand- 
ing was ever arrived at. However, a joint commis- 
sion for the demarcation of the Anglo-Liberian fron- 
tier was appointed and in 1903 proceded with its 
work. In due time the boundary was satisfactorily 
settled by this commission. This boundary, however, 
very soon gave rise to a serious difficulty and to a 
flagrant aggression. By the deUmitation, the town 
and district of Kanre-Lahun fell to Liberia; Colonel 
Williams, the Liberian Commissioner, hoisted the 
Liberian flag at that town which, at the time, was 
occupied by a detachment of the Sierra Leone Fron- 
tier Force; curiously enough, the British force was 
not withdrawn. 

In 1904 the British Government complained to the 
Liberian Government that the Kissi were making 
raids into British territory in consequence of a war 
between Fabtindah, a chief of the Kanre-Lahun Dis- 
trict, and Kah Furah, a Kissi chief, and asked per- 
mission for the entrance of British troops into Li- 
berian territory for the purpose of repressing the 
disorder which, it was said, threatened British inter- 



PBOBIiEMS. 109 

ests. The request was granted; British troops ad- 
vanced to the Mafisso where they established a post. 
In November the British Vice-Consul sent word to 
the President of Liberia saying that the chief Kah 
Furah had been driven out of the Kissi country, 
and that the people, at the invitation of the military 
authorities, had elected a new chief, and had pledged 
themselves not to receive Kah Furah among them 
again. The Liberian Government assumed that the 
matter was at an end and that the British force had 
been withdrawn. In 1906 Mr. Lomax, the Liberian 
Commissioner for the French frontier, was instructed 
to proceed to this point ; he reached Kanre-Lahun in 
December, and found Waladi, a town in Liberian ter- 
ritory, garrisoned by a Sierra Leone force. While 
Mr. Lomax was at Kanre-Lahun, complaints were 
made against him by the Chief Fabundah and others. 
These complaints were examined in the presence of 
Governor Probyn, Sir Harry Johnston, Mr. Lamont, 
and leading military officers, and Mr. Lomax justi- 
fied himself completely, except in a single case where 
damages of five pounds were suggested and paid.- 
Later on, British officers sent in complaints that the 
escort with Mr. Lomax were plundering the country. 
It was imposible in such districts and under such cir- 
cumstances to prevent some petty thieving. Mr. 
Lomax, however, accepted the complaints and paid 
the damages claimed. With a view to permanently 
settling the country under Liberian rule, Mr. Lomax 
ordered a local election to be held. Three chiefs were 
chosen — ^Fabundah for the lower section, Gardi for 
the Bombali section, and Bawma for the Gormah sec- 
tion. Fabundah, who before had been exercising 
jurisdiction over the Bombali, was dissatisfied. The 
Sierra Leone authorities promised to support him 
against the Liberian Government; they placed a 
frontier force at his disposal for the purpose of ruin- 
ing the chiefs who were favorable to Liberian con- 
trol or who had received commissions from the Presi- 
dent; efforts to arouse opposition and dissatisfaction 



110 LIBERU. 

were made ; Lomax was hounded from the district ; 
the chief, Gardi, was driven from the country, his 
town was plundered, and his brother made a prisoner 
in Kanre-Lahun. 

In 1908 attempts had been made in Europe to settle 
difSculties pending with Great Britain and France. 
Mr. F. E. E. Johnson, the Liberian Secretary of State, 
who had been sent to arrange these matters, found 
conditions threatening. In London the British Gov- 
ernment stated that it had no designs against Liberia, 
but that they believed the French were planning 
encroachment, and that, if Liberia lost territory to 
France, Great Britain would find it necessary to take 
a new piece of territory contingent to Sierra Leone 
in her own defense. Matters appeared so serious that 
President Barclay was advised to come to Europe 
himself ; he arrived in London on the 29th of August, 
accompanied by T. McCants Stewart, and there met 
Mr. Johnson. He told the British Government of his 
fears regarding further aggression upon Liberian 
territory and expressed the desire that Great Britain 
and America should jointly guarantee the inde- 
pendence and territorial integrity of the Republic. 
The reply was that Great Britain would on no account 
enter into any such guarantee; if the Liberian Gov- 
ernment obtained a settled frontier with France, and 
inaugurated certain reforms, there would be little 
danger of any one's troubling it; if the reforms 
desired by England were not undertaken, nothing 
would save it from the end which threatened. At 
the same time London refused to treat of the Kanre- 
Lahun and Mano River difficulties until after the 
troubles with France had been arranged. In France, 
as will be shortly seen, the Liberian envoys met with 
no success; a treaty was indeed arranged by means 
of which the Republic was robbed of a large amount 
of valuable territory. The envoys were again in 
London in September to take up the matters of the 
Kanre-Lahun and Mano River negotiations. The 
British officials now demanded that Fabundah should 



PROBLEMS. Ill 

come entirely under the jurisdiction of the British 
Government, and that the frontier line on the north- 
west should be so altered as to place his territory 
within the British colony; the area thus demanded 
contained something like 250 square miles of terri- 
tory. At no time had the area actually in charge of 
Fabundah amounted to any such quantity ; the Libe- 
rians demurred at the largeness of the territorial 
claim — the British officials themselves stated that 
they were surprised at its extent, but insisted upon 
receiving the entire amount. No decision was actu- 
ally reached, the matter being postponed until the 
delimitation of the new Franco-Liberian boundary 
should be achieved. 

Great Britain's claim to this region was based upon 
the flimsiest pretext. It is true that she had had 
relations with Fabundah before the boundary had 
been delimited ; it is true that, previous to that date, 
she had had a force in Kanre-Lahun ; however, when 
the boundary was actually fixed, Kanre-Lahun was 
clearly within Liberian territory, and no objection 
whatever was made to the Republic's taking posses- 
sion and to the withdrawal of the Sierra Leone force. 
When, later on, Great Britain sent soldiers into the 
area, it was done on the pretext that intertribal diffi- 
culties in the region threatened British interests ; per- 
mission was given as a favor to Great Britain and 
with the expectation that, as soon as the difficulty 
had been adjusted, the British force would be with- 
drawn. Such was not the case ; once in Kanre-Lahun, 
it remained there ; Major Lomax was hounded from 
the country; the Liberian customs officer, Mr. 
Hughes, was ordered to abandon his post of duty and 
to surrender the customs house to the British com- 
mander. This act of occupation was bad enough; 
but soon Great Britain demanded that the army of 
occupation should be paid by the Liberian Govern- 
ment before it would evacuate the district; no such 
understanding had been arranged, and the claim was 
unjustified and ridiculous ; the frontier force of Sierra 



112 LIBERIA. 

Leone was not increased, nor put to any extra 
expense in the matter. In asking for a new boundary 
line which should cut out Fabundah's territory, 
flagrant injustice was committed; it is true that the 
boundary which had been arranged cut the land con- 
trolled by the chief; about one-twenty-fifth of his 
territory was on the British side, the remaining 
twenty-four-twenty-fifths being in Liberia; if a new 
line were to be drawn, it should have given the one- 
twenty-fifth to Liberia and reduced the Sierra Leone 
territory. The matter dragged along for months. 
December 8, 1909, President Barclay accepted a 
proposition to exchange or sell the district in dispute ; 
the legislature refused to accept the proposition. In 
May, 1911, however, an agreement was finally 
arranged; the British authorities took over the 
Kanre-Lahun District, an area of extraordinary 
wealth and dense population ; in return for this valu- 
able and most needed area, Liberia received a piece 
of country lying between the Morro and Mano Riv- 
ers, which had formerly been a part of the Colony of 
Sierra Leone ; this territory is almost without popula- 
tion, densely forested, and practically worthless. 
Even so, it is little likely that the Republic will be 
left in peaceful possesison of it. On some pretext, 
in the future, Great Britain will no doubt regain it. 

THE FRENCH BOUNDARY QUESTION. 

When Maryland was added to the Liberian Repub- 
lic, it possessed lands acquired by deeds of purchase 
and treaties as far east as the San Pedro River, sixty 
miles east of the Cavalla; this country was occupied 
by Km tribes, and its eastern boundary practically 
marked their limit; it was hence not only a geo- 
graphical, but an ethnographical boundary. For 
years no one questioned Liberia's right to the whole 
area, and on maps and in repeated descriptions of the 
country its rights were recognized. In 1885, how- 
ever, the French Government claimed that the French 
possessions extended continuously from the Ivory 



PROBLEMS. 113 

Coast westward beyond the Cavalla River and Cape 
Palmas as far as Oarawe; at the same time it sug- 
gested certain shadowy claims to Cape Mount, Grand 
Bassa, and Grand Butu; — ^in other words, points at 
intervals along the whole coast of the Liberian Re- 
public ; these claims were based on agreements stated 
to have been drawn up between native chiefs and the 
commanders of war vessels. In 1891 the French 
(Jovemment oflScially communicated to Great Britain 
her intention of taking possession of and administer- 
ing the district mentioned as far as Garawe; she 
modified her claim, however, in such a way as to^ 
extend her rights only to the Cavalla lliver. In 1891' 
a French commissioner was authorized to treat with 
Liberia in this matter. He claimed that the French 
had deeds to Grand Cesters, dating to 1788, and to 
Garawe, dating to 1842 ; he referred to other shadowy 
rights and mentioned treaties which, he asserted, 
chiefs in the neighborhood of the Cavalla and San 
Pedro JBivers had made with French authorities; 
asked to produce these documents, he admitted that 
he did not have them with him. The French Govern- 
ment asked that Liberia should recognize the right of 
France from the Cavalla River to the San Pedro, say- 
ing that, if this recognition were granted, they might 
not revive their old claims. Liberia urged that the 
treaty formed with her by the French Government 
in 1852 clearly recognized her rights to the region in 
question ; a French war map, dated 1882, was shown, 
on which Liberia's area was clearly shown to extend 
to the San Pedro River; at the same time Liberia 
asked that the whole matter should be referred to 
arbitration. Arbitration was refused ; a treaty drawn 
up by France was offered for approval in August, 
1892; the Liberian legislature refused absolutely to 
ratify it, and the Liberian Gtovemment appealed to 
the United States for assistance and advice. The 
country was greatly aroused over the manifest injus- 
tice of its powerful neighbor. Especially in Mary- 

8. 



114 LIBERIA. 

land, feeling ran high. A printed appeal was issued 
to the world. In it occurs the following passage : 

**We appeal to all the civilized nations of the 
world.- — Consider, we pray you, the situation. Hav- 
ing been carried away into slavery, and, by the 
blessing of God, returned from exile to our father- 
land, are we now to be robbed of our rightful inherit- 
ance? Is there not to be a foot of land in Africa, 
that the African, whether civilized or savage, can 
call his own? It has been asserted that the race is 
not capable of self-government, and the eyes of many 
are watching the progress of Liberia with a view to 
determining that question. We only ask, in all fair- 
ness, to be allowed just what any other people would 
require — ^free scope for operation. Do not wrest Our 
territory from us and hamper us in our operations, 
and then stigmatize the race with incapacity, because 
we do not work miracles. Give us a fair chance, and 
then if we utterly fail, we shall yield the point. We 
pray you, the civilized and Christian nations of the 
world, to use your influence in our behalf. We have 
no power to prevent this aggression on the part of the 
French Government : but we know that we have right 
on our side, and are willing to have our claims to the 
territory in question examined. We do not consent to 
France's taking that portion of our territory lying 
between the Cavalla and San Pedro Rivers ; nor do we 
recognize its claims to points on our Grain Coast 
which, as shown above, our government has been in 
possession of for so long. We protest, too, against 
that government's marking off narrow limits of 
interior land for us. We claim the right to extend 
as far interiorward as our necessities require. We 
are not foreigners: we are Africans, and this is 
Africa. Such being the case, we have certain natural 
rights — God-given rights — to this territory which no 
foreigners can have. We should have room enough, 
not only for our present population, but also to afford 
a home for our brethren in exile who may wish to 
return to their fatherland and help us to build up a 



PROBLEMS. 115 

negro nationality. We implore you, the civilized and 
Christian nations of the world, to nse your influence 
to have these, our reasonable requirements secured to 
us." But neither the official appeal to the United 
States nor the unofficial appeal to the Christian 
nations of the world availed. France seized the ter- 
ritory and threatened to refuse to recognize rights 
beyond Grand Cesters on the seaboard, and Boporo in 
the interior. After fruitless remonstrance, the Re- 
public was forced to yield and a treaty was accepted 
on December 8, 1892. By it the Cavalla River was 
recognized as the boundary between France and 
Liberia, from its mouth ''as far as a point situated at 
a point'' about twenty miles south of its confluence 
with the River **Fodedougouba" at the intersection 
of the parallel 6° 30' north and the Paris meridian 
9° 12' west; thence along 6° 30' as far as 10° west, 
with the proviso that the basin of the Grand Cesters 
River should belong to Liberia and the basin of the 
Fodedougouba to France ; then north along 10° to 8° 
north ; and then northwest to the latitude of Tembi 
Kunda (supposed 8° 35'), after which due west along 
the latitude of Tembi Kunda, until it intersects the 
British boundary near that place. But the entire 
Niger Basin should be French; Bamaquilla and 
Mahommadou should be Liberian; Mousardou and 
Naalah, French. 

LATER FRENCH DIFFICULTIES. 

Notwithstanding this delimitation, difficulties with 
the French continued. In 1895 French posts along 
the northern border began to crowd in upon the 
Republic. The town of Lola, in Liberia, was attacked 
by Senegalese soldiers; these were repulsed and two 
French officers were killed. Aggressions continued 
until, finally, in 1903, Liberia begged that a final 
delimitation might be arranged, as the old had proved 
completely unsatisfactory. In 1904 F. E. R. John- 
son and J. J. Dossen were sent to France to arrange 
matters. On their way, they called at the British 



106 LIBERIA. 

treaty signed at London, Nov. 11, 1885, whereby 
the river Mano was admitted to be the western 
boundary; a badly defined interior line was agreed 
upon ; a repayment of £4750 of purchase money was 
made to Liberia. 

THE KANRE-LAHUN AFFAIR. 

The next act of serious aggression on the part of 
Great Britain grew out of the bad definition of the 
interior boundary by the treaty of 1885. The Mano 
River had been recognized as the boundary between 
Sierra Leone and Liberia. The question now arose 
as to whether the two parties enjoyed equal rights of 
freedom on the river. The Liberian Government at- 
tempted to secure to Liberian traders and to 
foreigners resident in Liberia the rights to free navi- 
gation on the river without subjection to the payment 
of customs dues and other charges to the Sierra Leone 
Government. The matter became of sufficient conse- 
quence to call for a commission in the year 1901. 
Three Liberians, among them Arthur Barclay, then 
Secretary of the Treasury (later President of the 
Republic), were appointed; the meeting was held in 
London and led to the following memorandum of 
agreement between His Majesty's Government and 
the Liberian Republic. 

1. His Majesty's Government are prepared to 
accede to the requests of the Liberian Government 
that a British officer should be deputed to demarcate 
the Anglo-Liberian Boundary. 

2. They are also ready to lend the services of a 
British oflScer for employment by the Liberian Gov- 
ernment in the demarcation of the Franco-Liberian 
Boundary whenever the Liberian Government shall 
have made an arrangement with the French Govern- 
ment for such demarcation. 

3. The Liberian Government undertakes to repay 
to His Majesty's Government the whole of any cost 
incurred by them in connection with the survey and 
demarcation of the Anglo-Liberian Frontier. 



PROBLEMS. 107 

4. His Majesty's Government are willing that, in 
lieu of the Governor of Sierra Leone acting as British 
Consul to Liberia, arrangements shall be made where- 
by some other British oflScer shall be Consul in the 
Republic. 

5. His Majesty's Government undertakes the 
survey of the Kru Coast, provided the Liberian Gov- 
ernment will throw open to foreign trade the native 
ports on the coast. 

6. With regard to the navigation on the Mano 
River, His Majesty's Government are prepared to 
permit the Government of the Liberian Republic and 
its citizens to trade on that river, provided that it 
is not to be considered actual right, and if, in return, 
the Government of Sierra Leone is allowed to con- 
nect by bridges and ferries the two banks of the river 
with any roads or trade-routes in the neighborhood. 

7. The Government of the Liberian Republic have 
expressed a desire for closer union with Great Bri- 
tain: His Majesty's Government are actuated by 
the most friendly feelings toward the Republic; and 
with the view of meeting their wishes in this respect, 
so far as it is consistent with the declaration made 
by His Majesty's government in connection with 
other powers, will at all times be ready to advise 
them in matters affecting the welfare of Liberia, and 
to confer with the Government of the Republic as 
to the best means of securing its independence and 
the integrity of its territory. 

When this agreement was submitted to the Senate 
of Liberia for ratification, they made the following 
amendments : 

Section 1. Amended to read, that the Liberian 
Government shall depute an officer or officers to be 
associated with the British officer in demarcating the 
Anglo-Liberian Boundary. » 

Action 2. Amended to read, that the Liberian 
(Jovernment shall depute an officer or officers to be 
associated with the British and French pfficers in 
demarcating the Franco-Liberian Frontier. 



108 LIBERU. 

Section 5. The Senate, not perceiving the advis- 
ability of throwing the coast open for the present, is 
under the necessity of withholding its vote in favor 
of this section. 

Section 7. Amended to read, *'One bridge at the 
place where the Liberian Customs House is now 
erected, and one ferry at the place where the second 
Liberian Customs House may hereafter be erected; 
that said bridge and ferry will be accessible to the 
citizens of the Liberian Government without any re- 
strictions or extra toll, or charges, more than is 
required to be paid by the subjects of His Majesty's 
Government. 

The British Government left the settlement of the 
details of that portion of the agreement which had 
reference to the navigation of the Mano River to be 
settled between the Liberian Government and the 
Government of Sierra Leone. The colonial govern- 
ment imposed such restrictions that no understand- 
ing was ever arrived at. However, a joint commis- 
sion for the demarcation of the Anglo-Liberian fron- 
tier was appointed and in 1903 proceded with its 
work. In due time the boundary was satisfactorily 
settled by this commission. This boundary, however, 
very soon gave rise to a serious difficulty and to a 
flagrant aggression. By the delimitation, the town 
and district of Kanre-Lahun fell to Liberia; Colonel 
Williams, the Liberian Commissioner, hoisted the 
Liberian flag at that town which, at the time, was 
occupied by a detachment of the Sierra Leone Fron- 
tier Force; curiously enough, the British force was 
not withdrawn. 

In 1904 the British Government complained to the 
Liberian Government that the Eissi were making 
raids into British territory in consequence of a war 
between Fabnndah, a chief of the Kanre-Lahun Dis- 
trict, and Kah Furah, a Eissi chief, and asked per- 
mission for the entrance of British troops into Li- 
berian territory for the purpose of repressing the 
disorder which, it was said, threatened British inter- 



PROBLEMS. 109 

ests. The request was granted; British troops ad- 
vanced to the Mafisso where they established a post. 
In November the British Viee-Consul sent word to 
the President of Liberia saying that the chief Kah 
Furah had been driven out of the Kissi country, 
and that the people, at the invitation of the military 
authorities, had elected a new chief, and had pledged 
themselves not to receive Kah Furah among them 
again. The Liberian (Government assumed that the 
matter was at an end and that the British force had 
been withdrawn. In 1906 Mr. Lomax, the Liberian 
Commissioner for the French frontier, was instructed 
to proceed to this point; he reached Eanre-Lahun in 
December, and found Waladi, a town in Liberian ter- 
ritory, garrisoned by a Sierra Leone force. While 
Mr. Lomax was at Eanre-Lahun, complaints were 
made against him by the Chief Fabundah and others. 
These complaints were examined in the presence of 
Governor Probyn, Sir Harry Johnston, Mr. Lamont, 
and leading military officers, and Mr. Lomax justi- 
fied himself completely, except in a single case where 
damages of five pounds were suggested and paid- 
Later on, British officers sent in complaints that the 
escort with Mr. Lomax were plundering the country. 
It was imposible in such districts and under such cir- 
cumstances to prevent some petty thieving. Mr. 
Lomax, however, accepted the complaints and paid 
the damages claimed. With a view to permanently 
settling the country under Liberian rule, Mr. Lomax 
ordered a local election to be held. Three chiefs were 
chosen — ^Fabundah for the lower section, Gardi for 
the Bombali section, and Bawma for the Gtormah sec- 
tion. Fabundah, who before had been exercising 
jurisdiction over the Bombali, was dissatisfied. The 
Sierra Leone authorities promised to support him 
against the Liberian Government; they placed^ a 
frontier force at his disposal for the purpose of ruin- 
ing the chiefs who were favorable to Liberian con- 
trol or who had received commissions from the Presi- 
dent; efforts to arouse opposition and dissatisfaction 



110 LIBERIA. 

were made; Loiiiax was hounded from the district; 
the chief, Gardi, was driven from the country, his 
town was plundered, and his brother made a prisoner 
in Eanre-Lahun. 

In 1908 attempts had been made in Europe to settle 
difSculties pending with Great Britain and France. 
Mr. F. E. R. Johnson, the Liberian Secretary of State, 
who had been sent to arrange these matters, found 
conditions threatening. In London the British Gov- 
ernment stated that it had no designs against Liberia, 
but that they believed the French were planning 
encroachment, and that, if Liberia lost territory to 
France, Great Britain would find it necessary to take 
a new piece of territory contingent to Sierra Leone 
in her own defense. Matters appeared so serious that 
President Barclay was advised to come to Europe 
himself ; he arrived in London on the 29th of August, 
accompanied by T. McCants Stewart, and there met 
Mr. Johnson. He told the British Government of his 
fears regarding further aggression upon Liberian 
territory and expressed the desire that Great Britain 
and America should jointly guarantee the inde- 
pendence and territorial integrity of the Republic. 
The reply was that Great Britain would on no account 
enter into any such guarantee; if the Liberian Gov- 
ernment obtained a settled frontier with France, and 
inaugurated certain reforms, there would be little 
danger of any one's troubling it; if the reforms 
desired by England were not undertaken, nothing 
would save it from the end which threatened. At 
the same time London refused to treat of the Kanre- 
Lahun and Mano River difficulties until after the 
troubles with France had been arranged. In France, 
as will be shortly seen, the Liberian envoys met with 
no success; a treaty was indeed arranged by means 
of which the Republic was robbed of a large amount 
of valuable territory. The envoys were again in 
London in September to take up the matters of the 
Kanre-Lahun and Mano Rijver negotiations. The 
British officials now demanded that Fabundah should 



PROBLEMS. Ill 

come entirely under the jurisdiction of the British 
(jovernment, and that the frontier line on the north- 
west should be so altered as to place his territory 
within the British colony; the area thus demanded 
contained something like 250 square miles of terri- 
tory. At no time had the area actually in charge of 
Fabundah amounted to any such quantity ; the Libe- 
rians demurred at the largeness of the territorial 
claim — ^the British officials themselves stated that 
they were surprised at its extent, but insisted upon 
receiving the entire amount. No decision was actu- 
ally reached, the matter being postponed until the 
delimitation of the new Franco-Liberian boundary 
should be achieved. 

Great Britain's claim to this region was based upon 
the flimsiest pretext. It is true that she had had 
relations with Fabundah before the boundary had 
been delimited ; it is true that, previous to that date, 
she had had a force in Kanre-Lahun ; however, when 
the boundary was actually fixed, Kanre-Lahun was 
clearly within Liberian territory, and no objection 
whatever was made to the Republic's taking posses- 
sion and to the withdrawal of the Sierra Leone force. 
When, later on. Great Britain sent soldiers into the 
area, it was done on the pretext that intertribal diffi- 
culties in the region threatened British interests ; per- 
mission was given as a favor to Great Britain and 
with the expectation that, as soon as the difficulty 
had been adjusted, the British force would be with- 
drawn. Such was not the case ; once in Kanre-Lahun, 
it remained there; Major Lomax was hounded from 
the country; the Liberian customs officer, Mr. 
Hughes, was ordered to abandon his post of duty and 
to surrender the customs house to the British com- 
mander. This act of occupation was bad enough; 
but soon Great Britain demanded that the army of 
occupation should be paid by the Liberian Govern- 
ment before it would evacuate the district; no such 
understanding had been arranged, and the claim was 
unjustified and ridiculous ; the frontier force of Sierra 



112 LIBERIA. 

Leone was not increased, nor put to any extra 
expense in the matter. In asking for a new boundary 
line which should cut out Fabundah's territory, 
flagrant injustice was committed; it is true that the 
boundary which had been arranged cut the land con- 
trolled by the chief; about one-twenty-fifth of his 
territory was on the British side, the remaining 
twenty-four-twenty-fifths being in Liberia; if a new 
line were to be drawn, it should have given the one- 
twenty-fifth to Liberia and reduced the Sierra Leone 
territory. The matter dragged along for months. 
December 8, 1909, President Barclay accepted a 
proposition to exchange or sell the district in dispute ; 
the legislature refused to accept the proposition. Li 
May, 1911, however, an agreement was finally 
arranged; the British authorities took over the 
Kanre-Lahun District, an area of extraordinary 
wealth and dense population ; in return for this valu- 
able and most needed area, Liberia received a piece 
of country lying between the Morro and Mano Riv- 
ers, which had formerly been a part of the Colony of 
Sierra Leone ; this territory is almost without popula- 
tion, densely forested, and practically worthless. 
Even so, it is little likely that the Republic will be 
left in peaceful possesison of it. On some pretext, 
in the future. Great Britain will no doubt regain it. 

THE FRENCH BOUNDARY QUESTION. 

When Maryland was added to the Liberian Repub- 
lic, it possessed lands acquired by deeds of purchase 
and treaties as far east as the San Pedro River, sixty 
miles east of the Cavalla; this country was occupied 
by Kru tribes, and its eastern boundary practically 
marked their limit; it was hence not only a geo- 
graphical, but an ethnographical boundary. For 
years no one questioned Liberia's right to the whole 
area, and on maps and in repeated descriptions of the 
country its rights were recognized. In 1885, how- 
ever, the French Government claimed that the French 
possessions extended continuously from the Ivory 



PROBLEMS. 113 

Coast westward beyond the Cavalla River and Cape 
Palmas as far as Oaraw6; at the same time it sug- 
gested certain shadowy claims to Cape Mount, Qrand 
Bassa, and Grand Butu; — ^in other words, points at 
intervals along the whole coast of the Liberian Re- 
public ; these claims were based on agreements stated 
to have been drawn up between native chiefs and the 
commanders of war vessels. In 1891 the French 
Government oflScially communicated to Great Britain 
her intention of taking possession of and administer- 
ing the district mentioned as far as Garawe; she 
modified her claim, however, in such a way as to^ 
extend her rights only to the Cavalla River. In 1891' 
a French commissioner was authorized to treat with 
Liberia in this matter. He claimed that the French 
had deeds to Grand Cesters, dating to 1788, and to 
Garaw6, dating to 1842 ; he referred to other shadowy 
rights and mentioned treaties which, he asserted, 
chiefs in the neighborhood of the Cavalla and San 
Pedro JBivers had made with French authorities; 
asked to produce these documents, he admitted that 
he did not have them with him. The French Govern- 
ment asked that Liberia should recognize the right of 
France from the Cavalla River to the San Pedro, say- 
ing that, if this recognition were granted, they might 
not revive their old claims. Liberia urged that the 
treaty formed with her by the French Government 
in 1852 clearly recognized her rights to the region in 
question ; a French war map, dated 1882, was shown, 
on which Liberia's area was clearly shown to extend 
to the San Pedro River; at the same time Liberia 
asked that the whole matter should be referred to 
arbitration. Arbitration was refused ; a treaty drawn 
up by France was offered for approval in August, 
1892; the Liberian legislature refused absolutely to 
ratify it, and the Liberian Gtovemment appealed to 
the United States for assistance and advice. The 
country was greatly aroused over the manifest injus- 
tice of its powerful neighbor. Especially in Mary- 

8. 



114 LIBERIA. 

land, feeling ran high. A printed appeal was issued 
to the world. In it occurs the following passage: 

''We appeal to all the civilized nations of the 
world. — Consider, we pray you, the situation. Hav- 
ing been carried away into slavery, and, by the 
blessing of God, returned from exile to our father- 
land, are we now to be robbed of our rightful inherit- 
ance? Is there not to be a foot of land in Africa, 
that the African, whether civilized or savage, can 
call his own? It has been asserted that the race is 
not capable of self-government, and the eyes of many 
are watching the progress of Liberia with a view to 
determining that question. We only ask, in all fair- 
ness, to be allowed just what any other people would 
require — ^free scope for operation. Do not wrest Our 
territory from us and hamper us in our operations, 
and then stigmatize the race with incapacity, because 
we do not work miracles. Give us a fair chance, and 
then if we utterly fail, we shall yield the point. We 
pray you, the civilized and Christian nations of the 
world, to use your influence in our behalf. We have 
no power to prevent this aggression on the part of the 
French Government : but we know that we have right 
on our side, and are willing to have our claims to the 
territory in question examined. We do not consent to 
France's taking that portion of our territory lying 
between the Cavalla and San Pedro Rivers ; nor do we 
recognize its claims to points on our Grain Coast 
which, as shown above, our government has been in 
possession of for so long. We protest, too, against 
that government's marking off narrow limits of 
interior land for us. We claim the right to extend 
as far interiorward as our necessities require. We 
are not foreigners: we are Africans, and this is 
Africa. Such being the case, we have certain natural 
rights — God-given rights — to this territory which no 
foreigners can have. We should have room enough, 
not only for our present population, but also to afford 
a home for our brethren in exile who may wish to 
return to their fatherland and help us to build up a 



PBOBLEMS. 115 

negro nationality. We implore you, the civilized and 
Christian nations of the world, to use your influence 
to have these, our reasonable requirements secured to 
us." But neither the official appeal to the United 
States nor the unofficial appeal to the Christian 
nations of the world availed. France seized the ter- 
ritory and threatened to refuse to recognize rights 
beyond Grand Cesters on the seaboard, and Boporo in 
the interior. After fruitless remonstrance, the Re- 
public was forced to yield and a treaty was accepted 
on December 8, 1892. By it the Cavalla River was 
recognized as the boundary between France and 
Liberia, from its mouth ^'as far as a point situated at 
a point" about twenty miles south of its confluence 
with the River **Fodedougouba" at the intersection 
of the parallel 6° 30' north and the Paris meridian 
9° 12' west; thence along 6° 30' as far as 10° west, 
with the proviso that the basin of the Grand Cesters 
River should belong to Liberia and the basin of the 
Fodedougouba to France ; then north along 10° to 8° 
north; and then northwest to the latitude of Tembi 
Eunda (supposed 8° 35'), after which due west along 
the latitude of Tembi Kunda, until it intersects the 
British boundary near that place. But the entire 
Niger Basin should be French; Bamaquilla and 
Mahommadou should be Liberian; Mousardou and 
Naalah, French. 

LATER FRENCH DIFFICULTIES. 

Notwithstanding this delimitation, difficulties with 
the French continued. In 1895 French posts along 
the northern border began to crowd in upon the 
Republic. The town of Lola, in Liberia, was attacked 
by Senegalese soldiers; these were repulsed and two 
French officers were killed. Aggressions continued 
until, finally, in 1903, Liberia begged that a final 
delimitation might be arranged, as the old had proved 
completely unsatisfactory. In 1904 F. E. R. John- 
son and J. J. Dossen were sent to France to arrange 
matters. On their way, they called at the British 



116 lilBEBIA. 

Foreign Office and asked their aid and interest in 
bringing about an understanding. Arrived in Paris, 
it was quickly found that the French were planning 
to possess themselves of all the territory situated in 
the basin of the Cavalla and the Upper St. Paul's 
Eivers; the British Foreign Office expressed sym- 
pathy, but did nothing more. In 1905 several efforts 
were made toward bringing about an agreement. Dr. 
Blyden was sent to France, but accomplished nothing; 
in November Sir Harry Johnston was asked to treat 
with the French GU)vernment which, however, refused 
to recognize him as an official negotiator. In 1907 
Secretary Johnson was commissioned to treat with 
the French Gtovemment, but found its attitude most 
hostile and unfriendly. President Barclay himself 
was summoned to Europe; taking T. McCants Stew- 
art with him, they joined Johnson, and interviewed 
the French officials. A treaty was submitted to them 
by which Liberia would be deprived of a large por- 
tion of her territory situated in the richest and most 
prosperous districts of the Republic. It was in vain 
that the Liberian commissioners remonstrated; the 
French were inflexible. The English Government had 
refused to deal with the commissioners in regard to 
the British boundary difficulty until they had come 
to some arrangement with France. In this unhappy 
condition of affairs, the commissioners decided to 
consult the American Ambassador in Paris; they 
asked that the United States should assist Liberia and 
prevent her being robbed of so large a portion of her 
territory, and should use her influence in bringing 
the French Government to submit the whole matter in 
dispute to arbitration. Ambassador White replied 
that he doubted whether the United States would aid 
Liberia in this crisis; he advised President Barclay 
to accept the treaty, urging that, if he failed to do so, 
the French would make further encroachments, and 
the Republic would meet with greater losses. As the 
case seemed hopeless, the commissioners accepted the 
treaty. It involved the delimitation of a fixed 



PB0BLEM8. 117 

boundary by an international commission. Liberia 
engaged two Dutch officials as her commissioners. 
They were on hand ready to fix the boundary in Feb- 
ruary, 1898, but were kept waiting until May by the 
dilatoriness of the French commissioners ; in order to 
have a permanent boundary fixed, the Republic made 
great concessions and lost valuable regions. It was 
willing, however, to sacrifice much for peace. 

Of course the sacrifice was without result. At the 
present time the whole question of the Franco- 
Liberian boundary is again open, and from the points 
urged by the French €k)vemment it is evident that 
it aims at new acquisition of territory and new 
restriction of the power of the little Bepublic. 



116 LIBEBIA. 

Foreign Office and asked their aid and interest in 
bringing abont an understanding. Arrived in Paris, 
it was quickly found that the French were planning 
to possess themselves of all the territory situated in 
the basin of the Cavalla and the Upper St. Paul's 
Rivers; the British Foreign Office expressed sym- 
pathy, but did nothing more. In 1905 several efforts 
were made toward bringing about an agreement. Dr. 
Blyden was sent to France, but accomplished nothing ; 
in November Sir Harry Johnston was asked to treat 
with the French Government which, however, refused 
to reeognize him as an official negotiator. In 1907 
Secretary Johnson was commissioned to treat with 
the French Government, but found its attitude most 
hostile and unfriendly. President Barclay himself 
was summoned to Europe; taking T. McCants Stew- 
art with him, they joined Johnson, and interviewed 
the French officials. A treaty was submitted to them 
by which Liberia would be deprived of a large por- 
tion of her territory situated in the richest and most 
prosperous districts of the Eepublic. It was in vain 
that the Liberian commissioners remonstrated; the 
French were inflexible. The English Government had 
refused to deal with the commissioners in regard to 
the British boundary difficulty until they had come 
to some arrangement with France. In this unhappy 
condition of affairs, the commissioners decided to 
consult the American Ambassador in Paris; they 
asked that the United States should assist Liberia and 
prevent her being robbed of so large a portion of her 
territory, and should use her influence in bringing 
the French (Jovemment to submit the whole matter in 
dispute to arbitration. Ambassador White replied 
that he doubted whether the United States would aid 
Liberia in this crisis; he advised President Barclay 
to accept the treaty, urging that, if he failed to do so, 
the French would make further encroachments, and 
the Republic would meet with greater losses. As the 
case seemed hopeless, the commissioners accepted the 
treaty. It involved the delimitation of a fixed 



PROBLEMS. 117 

boundary by an international commission. Liberia 
engaged two Dntch officials as her commissioners. 
They were on hand ready to fix the boundary in Feb- 
ruary, 1898, but were kept waiting until May by the 
dilatoriness of the French commissioners; in order to 
have a permanent boundary fixed, the Republic made 
great concessions and lost valuable regions. It wag 
willing, however, to sacrifice much for peace. 

Of course the sacrifice was without result. At the 
present time the whole question of the Franco- 
Liberian boundary is again open, and from the points 
urged by the French Government it is evident that 
it aims at new acquisition of territory and new 
restriction of the power of the little Republic. 



We stand at the threshold of a new era; new political theories 
are being advanced; new interpretations are being given to 
the principles of international law; larger fulfilments of na- 
tional obligations are being required of individual nations; new 
duties are being thrust upon us. Thej cannot be shirked, we 
must keep pace with world requirements. Regeneration and 
reform must be our watchword. The people must see that they 
become so. The process must operate from within outwards, 
or else influences from without will compass our ruin. — ^£. 
Babglay. 

THE FRONTIER FORCE. 

When President Barclay was in London, the Brit- 
ish Government demanded that certain internal 
reforms should take place in the Republic before it 
would discuss a final settlement of either the Mano 
River or Kanre-Lahun difficulties. Shortly after 
the President's return to Monrovia, Mr. Braithwait 
Wallis, Consul-General of Great Britain to Liberia, 
issued a memorandum on the subject — ^apparently 
under the fear **lest we forget". This memorandum, 
which bears the date of January 14, 1908, occupies 
four printed pages, and condenses into that brief 
space an astonishing amount of venom and insolence. 
A few quotations will show its spirit : 

**Your Excellency will remember then being 
informed that a critical moment had arrived in the 
history of the Republic, that however it might have 
been twenty or even ten years ago, the time had now 
gone by when Liberia could re-enact the part of a 
hermit kingdom, and that she must not lose a moment 
in setting herself seriously to work to put her house 
in order, or be prepared at no distant date, to dis- 
appear from the catalogue of independent countries. 
His Majesty's Government, as Your Excellency is 
aware, have absolutely no designs against either the 

118 



PBOBLEMS. 119 

independence or the integrity of the Republic. Their 
only desire is that a country which, on one of its 
frontiers, marches with an important British Colony, 
and with which not only that Colony, but Great 
Britain itself, has large and growing commercial 
relations, should have such a stable or effective Gov- 
ernment as will conduce to its own prosperity, and 
remove any danger of its losing its independence. 
His Majesty's Government do not consider that the 
Government of the Republic is either stable or effective. 
Improvement has indeed resulted from the appoint- 
ment of two Customs OflScers, and the Customs rev- 
enue of the country has largely developed. But it is 
also considered as absolutely essential, if such 
improvement is to continue and to extend to other 
branches of the Government, that the finances of the 
country be placed, at any rate for the time being, 
in the hands of an European financial expert, and 
that at least three more European Customs experts 
be appointed. And further, no Government can be 
said to have a stable basis, when it is without any 
means of enforcing its authority. His Majesty's 
Government, therefore, considers that it is essential 
that a trustworthy police, under European of&cers, 
should be at once established. With regard to the 
appointment of a financial expert, who could advise 
and assist the Secretary of the Treasury, in the finan- 
cial affairs of the Country, Mr. Lamont has already 
been appointed Financial Adviser to the Republic. 
He is, however, only so in name, but should now be 
made so in actual fact. His Majesty's Government 
further consider that the Liberian judiciary ought to 
undergo drastic reform.'' Mr. Wallis recapitulates 
the reforms demanded in the following statement: 
(a) the appointment of a financial expert, who will 
place the finances of the country on a sound footing, 
and will advise the Secretary of the Treasury on 
financial matters, (b) The establishment of an efS- 
cient, well armed, and well disciplined police force 
under competent European OfScers; and one that will 



120 LIBERIA. 

command the respect of the Powers, (c) The 
appointment of at least three more European Cus- 
toms experts, (d) The reform of the judiciary. **If 
the Liberian Government carry out the reforms herein 
indicated within SIX MONTHS, counted from the 
date of Your Excellency's return to Monrovia from 
England, His Majesty's (Government will on their 
side be happy to assist in carrying them into effect 
in the same way as they have recently been assisting 
in the work of re-organizing the Liberian Customs. 
They will further be happy to suspend pressing the 
monetary and other claims which they have against 
Liberia, and will endeavor to come to a settlement, 
on a mutually satisfactory basis, on the long out- 
standing question of the navigation of the Mano 
Biver and the trouble on the Anglo-Liberian 
Frontier. ' ' 

In other words. Great Britain was quite williag to 
assume the whole running of Liberian affairs; she 
would be glad to manage her financial matters, to 
train and handle her frontier force, to collect her cus» 
toms duties, and manage them, to interfere with, and 
control her government completely. She hinted at 
what she might do if these reforms were not carried 
into effect; she ended with a querulous complaint 
regarding advantages which German shipping was 
said to be securing to the disadvantage of British 
interests. This truly extraordinary document was 
signed in the following highly dignified fashion : 

I have the honor to be, 

with great truth and regard 

Sir, 

Your Excellency's 

most obedient, 

humble servant, 

BRAITHWAIT WALLIS, 
His Britannic Majesty's Consul. 

One of the cries of the present day internationalism 
is *' effective occupation". It is only as a country 



PROBLEMS. 121 

demonstrates itself able to protect its borde)*s, and to 
maintain peace within its limits^ that it is admitted 
to justly hold its territory; there are some strange 
features involved in the expression, but it has a just 
foundation and is at present generally accepted. It 
is true, if Liberia is to be recognized as an inde- 
pendent nation, she must guard her borders, must 
prevent her people from troubling their neighbors, 
must protect life and property within her area. There 
is a stipulation in the French treaty of 1907 in regard 
to this matter ; if Liberia cannot maintain a frontier 
force to protect her boundary, the French claim the 
right to place their own forces on Liberian territory 
for that purpose; the En^ish, in their demanded 
reforms, insist upon an adequate and well trained 
X>olice force upon the frontier; the demands are not 
unjust and must be met. In fact, the frontier force 
is one of the urgent and crying needs of Liberia. 

"While President Barclay was in London, he was 
approached by Capt. Mackay Cadell, who hfiid served 
in the South African War; Capt. Mackay Cadell 
desired to be put in charge of the frontier force 
which it was believed that Liberia would organize in 
response to the British demands ; he was not actually 
engaged by the President, but put in his appearance 
in January, 1908, ready for business ; his employment 
was opposed by many, but finally, largely in order 
not to offend British susceptibilities, he was engaged, 
given the rank of Major — some question has been 
raised as to exactly how he came to carry the title 
captain — ^and was authorized, with the help of two 
British assistants, to organize the frontier force; he 
was also given authority to employ ten or more 
sergeants and buglers firom Sierra Leone; it was 
naturally assumed that the force in general would be 
composed of Liberian natives. Major Mackay Cadell 
promptly began active work; barracks were erected 
upon the edge of Monrovia, and soon 250 men were 
enrolled for service. Their uniforms, arms, and 
ammunition were bought from Great Britain — so that 



122 LIBERIA. 

the whole enterprise was good for British trade; it 
is not clear, however, why the caps and other articles 
were stamped with the crown and other emblems of 
His Britii^ Majesty's service. Matters were going 
nicely, bnt it began to be suspected that a consider- 
able number of the new soldiers were British subjects, 
and it was asked whether some of them had not 
served upon the Sierra Leone frontier force. These 
suspicions and doubts led finally to a protest from 
the French Vice-Consul who claimed that the force 
being organized was actually ^^a British army of 
occupation" which the Liberian Government was 
permitting to be organized in Liberian territory; he 
demanded that an equal number of French officers 
and of French subjects be added to the force. The 
Liberian Government inquired of Major Mackay 
Cadell with reference to the matter; he denied that 
there were any British subjects on the force, and 
depending on his answer, the Liberian Government 
denied the fact to the French official. Meantime, 
Major Mackay Cadell was making himself variously 
useful to the Monrovia city government; he under- 
took without compensation, the command of the city 
police force as chief of police; in place of the loyal 
Kru police, he put in Mende soldiers from the bar- 
racks; he also performed the functions of street com- 
missioner, tax collector, city treasurer, and other 
duties until, finally, the citizens decided to dispense 
with his free services ; he declined, however, to resign, 
and presented a large bill as the condition upon 
which he would deliver up the city property 
entrusted to him. (We quote from Ellis.) On 
October 27th Major Mackay Cadell was further ques- 
tioned in regard to the composition of his force, and 
a report was demanded; it was then found that at 
least 71 out of the little army of 250 were actually 
British subjects; more than this, no doubt many of 
the Mende at the post, who were classed as **Liberi- 
ans", really came from the portion of that tribe 
residing on the other side of the Sierra Leone bound- 



PROBLEMS. 123 

ary. While this report was rendered, Major Maekay 
Cadell showed constant objection to supervision by 
the President of the Republic and to any suggestion 
of control. The President and his Cabinet, after 
meeting and discussing the matter, agreed upon the 
dismissal of Major Maekay Cadell, but out of courtesy 
gave him the opportunity of resigning his position. 

The French Vice-Consul continued to insist on his 
demands ; understanding that Capt. Wallis had given 
his consent to the appointment of French officers and 
subjects, the President prepared to make such 
appointments. Just at this juncture Capt. Wallis 
returned from an absence, and at his own request, 
on November 13, had a meeting with the President 
and the members of the Cabinet, at which he pre- 
sented to them what purported to be a communication 
from the British Government. Some mystery seems 
to be associated with this document, but it is under- 
stood that its effect was that, if Frenchmen were 
appointed to the direction of the frontier force, and 
French subjects were enlisted in it, Great Britain 
would unite with France to disrupt and divide the 
Republic. In December the legislature demanded 
that the services of Major Maekay Cadell should be 
dispensed with. He, however, hesitated to hand in 
his resignation. The legislature ordered a complete 
re-organization of the frontier force under a Liberian 
officer, with only two British subjects to be employed 
in the whole organization — ^the two assistant officers 
whom Major Maekay Cadell had employed. On 
February 1 the Major sent in his resignation. Acting 
on order of Consul-General Wallis, he turned over 
the arms and ammunition in his charge to the Elder 
Dempster Co., and announced the fact to the Liberian 
Government; at the same time Consul-General Wal- 
lis applied for an official guard to protect the prop- 
erty thus placed in private British hands ; the Secre- 
tary of State, F. E. B. Johnson, expressed his 
surprise that a consul, without consultation with the 
proper Liberian authorities, should order property 



124 lilBEBIA. 

belonging to Liberia (although payment had not yet 
been made for it) to be turned over into private 
hands, and refused to accept the responsibility of 
placing a guard in charge. On February 11, 1909, 
Major Mackay Cadell sent a remarkable message to 
President Barclay, informing him that the native 
soldiers were in serious danger of mutiny on account 
of arrears in payments; at the same time he sent 
messages to the two houses of the legislature, request- 
ing that the men be permitted to appear before them 
and state their grievances; he said that, if some re- 
dress were not given, the men could not be blamed for 
what might be done. Steps were at once taken for 
public defense; fortunately some 400 of the militia 
were in Monrovia for quarterly drill. After some 
seventy soldiers from the barracks had appeared 
upon the public streets, parading, threatening and 
menacing the seizure of the arms and ammunition, a 
force was sent to demand the surrender of the camp ; 
at the same time, notice of this was sent to Consul- 
General Wallis. Major Mackay Cadell refused to 
surrender, making conditions which would involve 
several days' delay; his immediate surrender, how- 
ever, was demanded, and other militia forces were 
sent for. Notice of this new demand was sent to 
Consul-General Wallis with the request that he should 
order British subjects out of the camp ; this he did ; 
Major Mackay Cadell decided to capitulate ; the camp 
was occupied. At a court of inquiry held to investi- 
gate the difficulty, the British sergeants said that 
Major Mackay Cadell himself had instigated the 
mutiny ; that he had selected a certain number of men 
to insult the President, to arrest him, and take him 
to camp. A curious fact in connection with this whole 
extraordinary procedure is that, on the 4th of Feb- 
ruary, one week before the President of the Republic 
was informed of the danger of imminent mutiny, 
notice of it had been cabled to Great Britain. It was 
perhaps by accident that a British gunboat was in the 
harbor on the 10th, the day before the outbreak — ^the 



PROBLEMS. 125 

name of this gunboat, by the way, quite appropri- 
ately was the Mutin, In closing the account of this 
strange incident, quotations may be made from the 
official report of the American Commission which 
visited Liberia shortly afterwards: 

*'But if Major Cadell got on very well with his 
troops, he got on very badly with the Liberian 
people and the Liberian Government. He was a man 
of indomitable energy, but guileless of tact. His 
actions on various occasions affronted the Liberian 
officials. Through indifference to the law, or by 
design, he enlisted a considerable number of British 
subjects among the troops, about one-fourth of his 
men being natives of Sierra Leone. When called to 
account for it, he at first denied and afterwards 
admitted that some of the men might have been bom 
in Sierra Leone, but that he supposed them to be 
residents of Liberia, and therefore, Liberians. Being 
called upon to dismiss the British subjects, he neg- 
lected to do so. About the beginning of the present 
year he began to complain that his men were not paid, 
and demanded further supplies from the Govern- 
ment, though he was very dilatory in presenting 
accounts for the money already entrusted to him. 
The dissatisfaction with Major Cadell 's conduct in 
matters of the camp led to the passage of a law by 
the Liberian Legislature in January, 1909, re-organ- 
izing the force and dismissing its commander. The 
President, who had upheld Major Cadell, offered him 
an opportunity to resign, but on one pretext or 
another, he delayed doing so, and when he sent in 
his resignation, the Government could not accept it 
until his accounts had been adjusted. He remained, 
in the meantime, in charge of the command, and on 
February 11, 1909, wrote a threatening letter to the 
President, in which he stated that, if the demands of 
the troops for the payment of money due them were 
not met within twenty-four hours, he could not be 
responsible for the maintenance of peace or for the 
safety of the President. This remarkable letter nat- 



126 LIBERIA. 

urally created much excitement in Monrovia, but the 
situation was handled with extreme adroitness by the 
Liberian Government which demanded that Major 
Cadell withdraw the British subjects composing his 
force, and that he turn over the camp to the Liberian 
authorities who would deal with the Liberian sub- 
jects. This order was reluctantly obeyed on the 
recommendation of the British Consul-General, and 
it was then discovered that seventy-one of the enlisted 
men were British subjects. Two or three weeks 
afterwards, after settling up his accounts, whereby 
it was revealed that he had involved the Government 
in a considerable unauthorized debt, he sailed for 
England and was soon followed by his brother 
officers.'* 

Again : 

**0n February 4, the British in Monrovia cabled 
to the Foreign Office that the lives of foreign resi- 
dents in Liberia were in danger, and urged that a 
gunboat be sent for their protection. ... On 
February 10 the British gunboat Mutin appeared and 
anchored off Monrovia. On February 11 and 12 Eng- 
land precipitated the rupture of the Government. But 
for the prompt and judicious action of the Liberian 
Executive, aided by the American Minister Resident, 
the following would presently have been the situation : 
A British gunboat in the harbor, a British officer in 
command of the frontier force, and a large number 
of British subjects among the enlisted men, a British 
official in charge of the Liberian customs, a British 
officer in command of the Liberian gunboat Lark, a 
British regiment in the streets of Monrovia." 

The fine hand of Consul-General Wallis of course is 
evident throughout these events. How seriously he 
was implicated is suggested in the following passage 
from the report of the Commission: **It is most 
unfortunate that the Commission has been unable to 
secure an account of these events from the principal 
British actors in them. When we reached Monrovia, 
Major Cadell had left Liberia. The British Consul- 



PROBLEMS. 127 

General was away on leave of absence. We were the 
more disappointed in not meeting the latter, as, be- 
fore our departure, we had been shown in the State 
Department at Washington a despatch of the Ambas- 
sador in London, stating that the British Foreign 
Ofl&ce there had instructed its representative in Mon- 
rovia to give the American Commission the fullest 
information about Liberian affairs. The acting Con- 
sul-General had no knowledge of the facts, and cov- 
ered his obvious embarrassment, when asked to 
explain some of them, by the plea that he had no 
inside information. ' ' 

It has been said that the British Government 
admits that ConsUl-General Wallis went beyond his 
authority. It is, however, significant that he was not 
reduced in position; he left Liberia, of course — ^his 
usefulness there having more than ended ; but he was 
transferred to Dakar, Senegal, the finest consular 
post in all West Africa. 

As for Major Mackay Cadell, he now poses as 
Liberia's real and great friend; he has, however, 
changed his name, and is now known ss Major R. 
Mackay-Mackay. He is associated with the Cavalla 
River Co., Limited. This appears to be a strange 
mixture of a commercial, educational, and philan- 
thropical character; always, however, primarily 
exploitative. Before going to Liberia in connection 
with his duties with this company, Major R. Mackay- 
Mackay traveled in the United States; arrived in 
Liberia, he gives the impression that the State 
Department of the United States is behind his enter- 
prise, and that Booker T. Washington is deeply 
interested in its success. He throws the responsibifity 
for all the past upon those ** higher up"; it seems 
that personally he always loved Liberia and was her 
friend. When he passed through Monrovia on his 
way down to the Cavalla, he simply showered advice 
and benevolence along his path. An interview with 
him was published in The Guide. He says: ** Liberia 
can not go on living on loans as in the past. Why 



128 LIBEBIA. . 

should she be dependent on gold from outside when 
she has a hundredfold within her own borders, at the 
very door? Standing at the street corners, discuss- 
ing politics, or waiting for dollar-bills to grow and 
fall from the trees around, will not advance the wel- 
fare of the Republic, nor attract the genuine 
sympathy and co-operation from the outside world. 
Work! work! work! that is what Liberia needs; and 
there are those who are prepared to create the oppor- 
tunity, provided all make up their minds to work 
as they should. Is manual labor considered a dis- 
grace in other countries? Why should it be in 
Liberia?'* 

Also : ' * I am here on a visit and to let Liberia know 
that she has more friends than she counts on; and 
they will increase in proportion to her efforts to help 
herself. I for my part will do all I can in my humble 
way to preach * Liberia regenerated' to all, and help 
where 1 can without treading on ground other than 
within my rights as a visitor and friend." Most 
touching, however, is this: '*Yes" (there are signs 
of awakening), ** since my return I see the most won- 
derful strides made in many directions, and a keen 
desire in the citizens of the wider ideas to aid in their 
country's advancement. May it continue. In every 
season is some victory won. Let us bury the past 
with all its errors, sadness, and regrets." 

It is sad indeed that humanity is not prone to bury 
the*past; even such expressions of affection may be 
received unkindly. What could be more dreadful, 
when a man oozes philanthropy from every pore, than 
to have such things said of him as the following 
which appeared about that time in Green's paper, 
The African League f 

** Major R. Mackay-Mackay, whose name stinks in 
the nostrils of all country-loving Liberians, because 
of his conduct when in command of our frontier 
force, is back in Liberia again, this time at the head 
of a company whose procedure thus far has not 
inspired the strongest confidence. More is known of 



PROBLEMS. 129 

this intimacy than the men themselves may think. 
The last steamer brought intelligence that an agent 
of Major Cadell's company, the Cavalla River Co., 
Limited, is now in Sierra Leone, with 630 natives of 
that colony who are to be brought to Cape Palmas 
soon to serve this company. It is very strange that 
thi§ company finds it necessary to employ natives 
from the colony of Sierra Leone, when in Liberia is 
the largest market for unskilled laborers in Western 
Africa, supplying, as it does, most, if not all, of that 
class of labor employed in the various enterprises in 
British, French, and German African colonies. We 
hope this is no new coup." 

The Frontier Force has continued in its develop- 
ment. The present plans involve the organization 
of a battalion of 600 men under a major ; each of the 
two companies of 300 soldiers will be under a captain • 
and each company will have three Liberian lieuten- 
ants ; the three chief officers will be Americans loaned 
to the Liberian Government by the United States. 
The general duties of the force will be those of a 
constabulary for the maintenance of law and order 
throughout the Republic and for the prevention and 
the detection of crime ; it will also be used as a cus- 
toms guard in such numbers and at such places as 
may be agreed upon by the Secretary of War and the 
general receiver of customs. Its estimated cost for 
the year 1913 was $86,159.60. The American officers 
arrived in the Republic in the spring of 1912. They 
were Major Ballard and Captains Brown and New- 
ton. In entering upon their new duties of developing 
and organizing the Frontier Force, they had the great 
advantage of the advice and interest of Major Charles 
Young of the United States Army^ who was in Mon- 
rovia as military attache of our legation. We had 
ample opportunity of investigating this Frontier 
Force. It is composed for the most part of natives 
fresh from the interior ; two hundred of them passed 
through our hands for examination and measure- 
ment; they were fine fellows, well built and in good 

9. 



130 LIBERIA. 

physical conjlition; few of them understood English, 
and among them several languages were represented ; 
they were proud of their position and anxious to 
improve ; they were easily led, particularly by ofBicers 
who treated them with kindness; we saw two parties 
of these soldiers started off for service; they made a 
good appearance. While we were there — ^as is true 
indeed much of the time — ^their payments were 
behind, and they were expressing some dissatisfac- 
tion, but were easily controlled; there is, however, 
always a danger of mutiny when the Government is 
behind in meeting its obligations to them; I quote 
from one who was in Monrovia October 10, 1911 ; he 
says: ''I heard quite an altercation in the street. 
Upon going out I saw about 120 men moving through 
the street in a disorderly mass toward the ofBice of 
the Secretary of War. Upon arriving at the office, 
there was quite a demonstration and matters looked 
serious. After a great deal of persuasion on the 
part of the Secretary and the one officer from the 
camp, the men moved away in the direction of Camp 
Johnson. I was informed that the men were demand- 
ing their pay.*' There is also great danger of the 
Frontier Force, when marching through the interior, 
looting and destroying the fields and villages through 
which they pass; this is so much in the nature of 
ordinary native warfare that it must be particularly 
guarded against; the Frontier Force, however, is 
necessary, and it seems to be making a promising 
development. 



Compare, you say, the present with the past. Where are 
the schooners and cutters that were used to be built right here 
in Liberia, when nearly every responsible man had his ownf 
Where are the tons of sugar that used to be shipped to foreign 
parts by our fathers, and the barrels of molasses, and the tons 
of camwood f Where are the financial men of the country that 
looked upon the holding of public offices almost beneath them, 
who had to be begged to fill the offices? Where are those who 
when they (had) made their farms lived off the farms f Oh, 
where are the honest, upright and loyal government officials of 
18471 You answer for yourselves. Where are the great 
Liberian merchants of Monrovia, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, and Cape 
Palmasf Gone! — S. D. Ferguson, Jr. 

TRADE DEVELOPMENT AND TRANS- 
PORTATION. 

Liberia's very existence depends upon her devel- 
opment of trade. If the Liberians push forward in 
this direction, her future may be assured. If, how- 
ever, she neglects it, her neighbors, France and Eng- 
land, can not be expected to permit their opportunity 
to pass. The area of the Black Republic is far too 
rich by nature to be overlooked; if its legitimate 
owners fail to develop it, others will do so. 

The past of Liberia was built on trade in wild 
produce ; its immediate prosperity must depend upon 
the same source of wealth. For the moment the trade 
of Liberia must be in such things as palm nuts, 
piassava, and rubber. 

The oil palm has been the most important source of 
wealth Liberia has. The tree produces great quanti- 
ties of nuts, growing in large clusters, from which 
an oil is easily, extracted, which finds enormous use 
in soap- and candle-making. This oil is derived from 
the stringy, fleshy coating of the nut; the nuts are 
thrown into pits dug in the ground, where they are 
allowed to ferment for some time; the mass of fer- 

131 



132 LIBERIA. 

mented nuts is then squeezed in a sort of press run by 
handy and the oil is extracted. This is the primitive, 
native style of production. The oil may also be 
produced by boiling and pounding the nuts and then 
stone-boiling the mass in wooden troughs, the oil 
being skimmed off from the surface of the water. In 
Liberia palm oil is chiefly produced in the counties of 
Bassa and Sinoe. Liberian oil is not the best quality 
on the market, as carelessness in preparation leaves 
considerable dirt and impurities in it; it has, how- 
ever, brought good prices — ^up to £24.10.0 a ton. 
Inside the palm nut is a hard kernel which remains 
after the oil has been extracted; this kernel at first 
was wasted ; to-day it is known to yield a finer oil than 
the pulp; the idea of exporting palm nut kernels 
originated with a Liberian, and the first shipment was 
made in 1850; to-day there is a large demand for 
palm kernels which sell at prices ranging from $60 to 
$68 per ton, the oil derived from them selling at $130 
to $133 per ton. 

Second, certainly, in importance, among the raw 
products exported from Liberia is piassava; it is the 
fiber of a palm — raphia vinifera. Large use is made 
of this extremely resistent fiber for brooms and 
brushes for street sweeping and the like ; its use, too, 
was suggested by a Liberian in 1889; it was first 
exported in 1890 and for a time brought the aston- 
ishingly high price of from $300 to $350 per ton ; as 
the fiber was easy to prepare and the trees were 
plentiful, a rapid development took place; Liberia 
was for a long time the only source of supply ; care- 
lessness ensued in the preparation of the fiber, the 
demand lessened and the price dropped ; it went down 
to £10 per ton; at present the price is somewhat bet- 
ter and is stationary at £20. Sir Harry Johnston, 
from whom these details are borrowedj says that it is 
difScult to judge the quality of raphia, that it shrinks 
in weight, and that trade in it is somewhat specu- 
lative and uncertain; still, piassava fiber occupies 
an important position in the Liberian trade to-day. 



PROBLEMS. 133 

Africa appears to be the continent which presents 
the greatest number of rubber-yielding plants; in 
Liberia the precious exudation is obtained from, some 
sixteen different kinds of trees and vines, varying as 
to the quality and character of rubber yielded. The 
rubber of Liberia is not considered of the highest 
class, but it is of good grade; the natives of the 
interior are skilled in its collection ; there is no doubt 
that great quantities of wild rubber are still to be 
obtained within the* limits of the Republic and experi- 
ments in rubber-planting have already been made 
with promise. 

Sir Harry Johnston gives a long list of other 
natural products which have been exported from 
Liberia at one time or another in varying quantities. 
There was a time when camwood found a ready mar- 
ket and formed perhaps the most important element 
in Liberian trade — of course with the invention of 
other dye-stuffs, the use of camwood, annatto, etc., 
has practically ceased; the name ** Grain Coast" or 
''Pepper Coast" was long given to this country on 
account of the malagueta pepper which was exported 
in great quantities — this, too, has ceased to be a 
product of practical importance; kola nuts are to 
some degree exported from Liberia, and with the 
ever-increasing use of the kola in America and Euro- 
pean countries, trade along this line should develop; 
ivory has always been among the export products of 
Liberia, though it has never had great significance; 
vegetable ivory nuts are produced here and to some 
extent form an article of trade — the demand for them 
in button-making is large and increasing, and exporta- 
tion of them may reasonably be developed;. hides and 
oil-yielding seeds complete the list of actual native 
export products. Sir Harry Johnston calls attention 
to the fact that the country is rich in ebony, mahog- 
any, and other fine woods, in copal and other gums, 
in ground nuts, fruits, and minerals ; these, however, 
have never been actual materials for export; all 



134 LIBERIA. 

are valuable, however, and trade in them might be 
developed. 

All of these raw products of natural production 
are valuable, but that they shall form an element in 
trade depends upon the natives. These things all 
come from the forests of the interior ; if they are to be 
traded to the outside world, they must be collected 
and transported by the people within whose territory 
they are found; this dependence is an uncertain 
thing. The natives have few needs; in their little 
towns they take life easily ; they have no sentimental 
interest in the development of trade as such nor in 
the upbuilding of the country; they care compara- 
tively little for the returns of trade; they will work 
when necessary, but only as they please; when they 
need some money for buying wives, they will prepare 
some piassava fiber or dig a pit, ferment some nuts, 
and squeeze some oil. When they have enough for 
the immediate and pressing necessity, work stops, and 
with it the supply of oil or fiber or whatever they 
may have seen fit to produce. More than this, the 
native is little concerned about the quality of his 
production. So long as he can sell it and raise the 
resources that he needs, he does not care whether the 
oil is clean, whether the piassava fiber is of good qual- 
ity, or whether the rubber contains dirt and stones. 
Impurity, however, of products is a very serious mat- 
ter to the outside world; a district which neglects 
quality loses trade. Liberian oil, fiber, rubber, all 
are at a disadvantage at present through the care- 
lessness of the producers. 

It must, then, be the policy of the Liberian Gov- 
ernment to encourage, by every legitimate means 
within its power, the increase of the production of the 
natural resources. Nor is the simple question of pro- 
duction the whole difSculty. Transportation is quite 
as important. The product, no matter how good or 
how precious, has no value as long as it remains in 
the bush. There are different methods of dealing 
with this matter of getting the natural products down 



PROBLEMS. 135 

to the coast settlements. The simplest and most nat- 
ural is to let the native bring it out — ^but the natives 
are as little inclined to travel and carry as they are 
to produce ; they will fetch down their product when 
they feel inclined — but the demand from without is 
constant. Liberians may go into the bush to bring 
out the products; there are always little traders who 
divide their time between the settlements and the 
interior; they travel in, sit down for several days at 
* native towns, trade with the natives for whatever 
stuff they have on hand, then have it carried out; 
such traders are usually independent men of small 
means who are trading on their own account. It is 
not uncommon for the large trading-houses to hire 
agents, — ^Liberians or natives, — and send them into 
the interior to buy up and bring down products. 
Another method — which, in the long run, will prove 
no doubt the most satisfactory, — ^is to establish here 
and there in the interior permanent trading stations, 
supplied with a fair stock of goods, to be traded with 
the natives against their raw products — trading sta- 
tions of this kind are already established by the Mon- 
rovia Rubber Company and by various of the great 
trading-houses. 

In some way or other the €U)vemment should adopt 
a method of encouraging the natives of the interior 
to gather, to properly prepare, and to bring in raw 
produce ; a definite scheme of practical education and 
encouragement must be devised. 

While raw products offered by nature have been 
and are the chief element in Libenan trade, another 
element is immediate, and will ultimately be the chief 
dependence of the nation. Agriculture, though far 
from being in a satisfactory condition, has always 
contributed material for export. The country can 
not forever count upon a supply of raw products. 
Gradually the value of the forests will become sec- 
ondary to that of produce of the fields. There is no 
reason why the Liberian coffee should not be fully 
re-established in the foreign market. The tree seems 



136 LIBERIA. 

to be a native of the country ; Ashmun reported that 
it was found everywhere near the seaeoast and to an 
unknown distance back from there. Under natural 
conditions, the tree grew oft'en to a height of thirty 
feet and a girth of fifteen inches. Coffee berries from 
wild trees were brought in by hundreds of bushels to 
the early settlers by the natives. Plantations were 
soon established, and many of them met with great 
success; in fact, coffee was once the principal export 
of the Republic; it was mainly shipped from Mon-' 
rovia and Cape Mount; the more important planta- 
tions were located along the St. Paul's River. Libe- 
rian coffee was much appreciated in the European 
market; at its period of greatest vogue it used to 
bring twenty-five cents a pound; the price has now 
fallen so low as eight or nine cents a pound. This 
decline is due, in part, of course, to the enormous 
development of the Brazilian coffee trade ; it is, how- 
ever, largely due to the carelessness of the Liberian 
planters, who had only primitive machinery for its 
preparation and who neglected proper care, with the 
result that the coffee berries reached the market 
broken and impaired. It is a delicious coffee, of full 
flavor, and improves with age. Sir Harry Johnston 
claims that about 1,500,000 pounds are annually 
produced, and reports that the output is increasing 
slightly. At the Muhlenberg Mission School, coffee is 
cultivated; care is taken in its preparation, and the 
price is rising ; if the Liberians will give serious atten- 
tion to the matter, there is no question that the old 
importance of the culture may be restored. It will 
require improved methods of cultivation, the use of 
better machinery, greater care in the preparation of 
the berry, and constant attention to proper packing 
and handling. 

Discouraged at the fall in price of coffee, some 
Liberian planters introduced the culture of cacao, 
from which our chocolate and cocoa are derived ; this 
culture has long been successful in some of the 
Spanish possessions of West Africa; in Liberia the 



PROBLEMS. 137 

plant grows well, and the cacao seems to be of superior 
quality; it is said that a good price for it may be 
received in Liverpool. This culture must be consid- 
ered as only in its infancy, but there appears to 
be no reason why it should not become of great 
importance. 

The rubber so far sent out from Liberia has been 
wild rubber; it would seem that a wise policy in 
national development would be to encourage the 
establishment of plantations of rubber trees or vines. 
One such plantation has already been established by 
an English company, who hoped to gather the first 
harvest of latex in 1912 ; one would suppose that the 
best tree for planting would be the funtumia which 
is native to the country and a good yielder ; it is chiefly 
this plant which is being set out by the Belgians in 
the Congo colony; the English company in Liberia, 
however, claims that their experiments with funtumia 
were not encouraging, and the species actually planted 
is the hevea — the one which yields the famous Para 
rubber. While coffee, cacao, and rubber will no 
doubt be the earliest important plantations to be 
developed in the country, other products should not 
be neglected. Ginger has already been well tested 
in the Republic — ^there have been times when it was 
quite an important article of export; sugar-cane 
grows well, and from the earliest days plantations of 
it have yielded something for local consumption — ^if 
capital were available, there seems no reason why 
profitable plantations of cane might not be made ; cas- 
sava has always been to some degree an article of 
export in the past, — ^it is of course the main food 
product of the natives — ^it is the source of tapioca and 
other food materials abundantly in use among our- 
selves. Liberia at present imports rice from abroad, 
yet rice of excellent quality is easily cultivated in the 
Republic and forms a staple food in native towns — 
effort to increase its local production would be good 
economy from every point of view; fruits of many 
kinds — ^both native and imported — grow to perfection 



138 LIBERIA. 

in Liberia; experiments have been made, without 
particular results, in cotton raising — ^there are species 
of wild cotton in the country and experiments with 
both wild and foreign grades would determine to 
what degree culture of this useful fiber might be 
profitably carried on. This list of cultivated vege- 
table products might be enormously extended ; we are 
only interested here in indicating those plants which 
would be important as trade products if their culti- 
vation were seriously undertaken. In the matter of 
fruits, we may add a word ; here is the suggestion of 
a beginning of manufacturing interests in the coun- 
try; some of these fruits are capable of profitable 
canning or preservation, others might be dried, while 
still others yield materials which could be utilized 
outside ; it would seem as if the natural beginning of 
manufacturing interests in the Republic would be in 
the establishment of factories to deal with these fruits 
and various derived vegetable materials. 

It is to be anticipated that there will be a develop- 
ment in mining in Liberia; it is not an unmixed 
blessing to a country to possess mineral wealth; it 
may be disadvantageous to a little country, of relative 
politcal insignificance and actually weak, to possess 
great wealth of this sort. But there are certainly 
deposits of gold and diamonds in the Republic ; these 
will in time be known, and their development will be 
undertaken. When that time comes, ores and other 
mineral products will form an element in national 
trade. 

Closely associated with the matter of production 
is the question of transportation. It is one of the 
most serious that faces Liberia. 

If produce can not be taken to the coast, it is of no 
value in the development of trade. There are prac- 
tically no roads in Liberia to-day. As in the Dark 
Continent generally, narrow foot-trails go from town 
to town. The travel over them is always in single file, 
the path is but a few inches wide and has been sharply 
worn into the soil to a depth of several inches by the 



PROBLEMS. 139 

passage of many human feet. As long as transporta- 
tion is entirely by human carriers, such trails are 
serviceable, provided they be kept open. A neglected 
trail, however, is soon overgrown and becomes 
extremely difScult to pass; that a trail should be 
good, it is necessary that the brushwood and other 
growth be cut out at fairly frequent intervals. Oftai, 
however, the chief of a given village does not care to 
remain in communication with his neighbors and 
intentionally permits the trail to fall into disuse. 
There is a feeling too, surviving from old customs, 
that trails are only passable with the permission and 
consent of the chiefs of the towns through which 
they run; chiefs have always exercised the right of 
closing trails whenever it pleased them; they have 
expected presents (** dashes'') for the privilege of 
passing. If- now, large trade is to be developed in 
the matter of native produce, it is absolutely neces- 
sary that the trails be kept in good condition and that 
free passage over them be granted to all. Much of 
the energy of the Government must of necessity be 
directed toward these ends. At the best, however, 
there is a limit to the distance over which produce can 
be profitably transported on human backs ; there must 
be very large inherent value in such produce to war- 
rant its being carried more than a three days' jour- 
ney by human carriers. It is not only the labor 
involved in the transportation, but the loss of time 
which renders this problem important. The richest 
resources lie at a great distance in the interior; even 
with good trails it is impossible to utilize them. 

In time, of course, the foot-trails must be developed 
into actual roads ; some other mode of transportation 
must be devised than that of the human beast of 
burden. Horses have never prospered in the neigh- 
borhood of Monrovia; yet there are plenty of them 
raised and, it is said, of good quality, among the 
Mandingo. Serious efforts should be made to intro- 
duce their use as beasts of draft and burden; if, as 
is likely, these experiments should come to naught, 



140 LIBERIA. 

attempts should be made to use oxen for hauling 
produce to the market. Improved trails and roads 
are of the highest importance to the Republic for 
several reasons, (a) For intercourse : only by means 
of them can ready and constant intercourse be devel- 
oped between the different elements of population; 
no great development of trade, no significant advance, 
can be made without constant intercourse ; it must be 
easy for the Government to reach and deal with the 
remotest natives of the far interior; it is equally 
important that peoples of neighboring towns have 
more frequent and intimate contact with each other; 
it is necessary that the members of different tribes 
come to know other tribes by daily contact, (b) For 
transportation; there is no reason why even the 
existing trails should not be covered with caravans 
carrying produce to the coast, (c) For protection; at 
present the movement of the Frontier Force from 
place to place is a matter of the highest difficulty ; if 
trouble on the border necessitates the sending of an 
armed force, weeks must elapse before the enterprise 
can be accomplished; until the present unsatisfac- 
tory condition of trails be done away with, Liberia is 
in no position to protect her frontiers. 

The construction by the English of the Sierra 
Leone Railroad running from the port of Freetown 
across the colony through the interior to the very 
border of Liberia, was a master stroke of policy; it 
not only developed the resources of the British area 
through which it passed and carried British products 
to the sea, but it tapped the richest part of the 
Liberian territory; formerly the production of that 
wealthy and well populated area found its way to Gape 
Mount and Monrovia; now it all goes out through a 
British port, in British hands. No single work would 
better repay an outlay by the Liberian Government 
than a good road running from Monrovia up the St. 
Paul's River, out to Boporo, and on through the 
country of the Mandingo to the region where this 
British road ends. Such a road would bring back 



PROBLEMS. 141 

into Liberia her part of a trade which has always 
been legitimately her own. The idea would be to con- 
struct upon such a road-bed a light railroad; such 
an enterprise would very probably soon be upon a 
paying basis. 

With the exception of one or two short stretches 
built by foreign companies for their own uses, there 
are neither roads nor railroads at the present time in 
the Republic. In 1912 the legislature granted a con- 
cession to the Cavalla River Company to make roads 
along the Cavalla River, to negotiate with the inhab- 
itants of those parts for the development of the rice 
industry, etc. At the same session the right was 
granted to Wichers and Helm to negotiate a railroad 
scheme for the construction of a light railway from 
White Plains to Careysburg, and from Millsburg to 
Boporo, the right was also granted to construct a 
railroad from Harper to Dimalu in Maryland County. 
It is to be hoped that these three enterprises may all 
develop; they would mean much for the progress of 
the country. 

We have spoken of the exports of Liberia; the 
imports consist chiefly of cotton goods, hardware, 
tobacco, silks, crockery, guns, gun-powder, rice, stock- 
fish, herrings, and salt. Most of these items are the 
staples which for centuries have maintained the 
trade of Western Africa. The total value of this 
import trade is estimated by Sir Harry Johnston at 
about $1,000,000 annually. It is curious that rice 
should need to be imported; 150,000 bags, equal to 
700 tons are brought in every year; this rice is used 
entirely by the civilized Liberians; certainly they 
should be raising their own rice or buying it from 
natives. That salt should be introduced into a coast 
district where salt, by evaporation from seawater 
might be easfly produced, is less strange than would 
appear at first sight ; the salt from Europe is, on the 
whole, better in quality and is more cheaply. produced 
than the local article of Liberia. The stock-fish is 
brought from Norway and is especially in demand 



142 LIBERU. 

among the Kru. Intoxicating drinks do not occur in 
the list above quoted; Sir Harry Johnston says that 
gin and rum are introduced, but that there is not 
much drunkenness among the people. Measures are 
taken to prevent the introduction of gin among the 
natives, but a great deal must be surreptitiously intro- 
duced among them ; when we were in the Bassa coun- 
try, our interpreter's constant regret was that we 
had not loaded up with a large supply of gin which, 
he assured us, would accomplish much more with the 
chiefs of the interior towns than any other form of 
trade-stuff. The bulk of the cotton goods takai into 
Liberia is intended for trade with the interior natives ; 
the patterns brought vary but little and are extremely 
old-fashioned — taste having been long ago estab- 
lished and the natives being conservative in such 
things. 

As to the actual volume of trade and its move- 
ment, some words are necessary. Recent figures are 
supplied in a little table issued by the Republic in 
a small pamphlet entitled Some Trade Facts; it cov- 
ers the period extending from 1905 to 1912. As will 
be seen, during that period of time, the customs rev- 
enue of the Republic more than doubled. Part of 
this favorable result undoubtedly was due to the 
fact that the administration of the customs service, 
was for that time largely in the hands of a British 
Chief Inspector of Customs. There is no reason why 
this encouraging movement of trade should not con- 
tinue. There is wealth enough in Liberia, if it can 
only be properly developed. The resources are enor- 
mous; the diflSculties have been in handling them. 
The Republic has usually been in financi^ diffi- 
culties; it has been hard work to make ends meet; 
but there is no question that with good management 
and legitimate encouragement the national income 
may be more than necessary to meet all obligations, to 
pursue conservative policies of development, and to 
attract favorable assistance from the outside world. 



PROBLEMS. 143 

STATEMENT OF CUSTOMS EEVENUE OF THE REPUB- 
LIC OF LIBERIA FOR YEARS 1905-1912 
(Ist April-31st March) 

Port 1905-6 1906-7 1907-8 1008-9 1909-10 1910-11 1911-12 

ModtotU $114,098 $129,077 $128,030 $117,524 $135,916 $144,292 

Cape Mount, etc. 38.128 31.901 19.327 25.907 27.800 36.125 

ICanhall 11.195 18.412 16.666 8.211 12.761 23.579 

annd Bum, etc 108.494 112.168 105,273 109.876 118,782 140,457 

Slnoe. etc 30,228 32,784 27.172 83,060 28.208 31,784 

Cape Palmas. etc 30,603 41.413 48.314 66,018 78,028 86,615 

Kabawana, etc 166 3,483 1,808 206 1,238 3,841 

Babber Duties col- 
lected in London 7.443 8.614 8,725 4,655 4,687 

Total $230,580 $327,913 $376,684 $355,208 $370,481 $407,400 $471,335 

It is interesting to notice with whom Liberia's 
trade is carried on. Britain of course has always led ; 
Germany comes second, Holland third, and other 
nations follow. Sir Harry Johnston says that in 1904 
the total value of British trade with Liberia was 
£112,779, while the total trade of the British Empire 
with the Republic was £132,000; the £20,000 differ- 
ence represent trade with Sierra Leone and the Gold 
Coast chiefly. On the whole it would seem that Ger- 
many is crowding Britain and bids fair to lead. A 
little table will show this clearly; the first statement 
shows the amount of British imports, exports, and 
entire trade for the years 1904, 1908, and 1909 in 
pounds sterling; a second statement shows the corre- 
sponding items for German trade for the years 1908 
and 1909 in marks; a third statement changes the 
totals figures to dollars at the rate of five dollars to 
the i)ound and four marks to a dollar, which of course 
is only approximate. It shows, however, that Ger- 
many is actually crowding her longer established 
rival 

(a) BRITISH TRADE WITH LIBERIA (Soler) 

Imports Exports Total 
1904 i £60,350 £62,710 £123,060 

1908 74,348 75,137 149,485 

1909 69,511 63,500 133,011 

(b) GERMAN TRADE WITH LIBERIA (Soler) 

1908 1477,000 mks. 1 ,856,000 mks. 3,033,000 mks. 

1909 1,095,000 mks. 2,282,000 mks. 3,377,000 mks. 

(c) ENGLISH AND GERMAN TRADE (1908-1909) 

1908 1909 

Enfflish $747,425 $665,055 

German 758,250 844,250 



The Liberian nation is to be made up of the Negro civilized to 
some extent in the United States and repatriated, and of the 
aboriginal tribes. At present it is composed of a small number 
of civilized and a large number of aboriginal communities in 
varying degrees of dependence. The problem is how to blend 
these into a national organism, an organic unity. — ^A. Babclay. 

THE NATIVE. 

Jore, in his valuable study of Liberia, discusses 
the question of the actual number of natives in 
Liberia as follows: ''Messrs. Johnston and Delafosse 
have estimated the number of natives of Liberia at 
2,000,000 persons. This figure would appear to-day 
to be above the actual. In fact, from serious studies 
which have been made in French West Africa, it 
results that a density of population superior to twelve 
inhabitants to the square kilometer, has been found 
only in Lower Dahomey, Ovagadougou, in Upper 
Senegal and Niger, in Lower Senegal, apd in a very 
restricted part of Middle Guinea. Generally the den- 
sity remains inferior to five inhabitants to the square 
kilometer. But there is no reason to believe . that 
Liberia is, in its entirety, more populous than our 
own possessions in West Africa. In taking the density 
at the figure 8, one runs the chance of still finding 
himself above the reality. Liberia, having to-day 
80,000 square kilometers, its population ought scarcely 
to surpass 600,000 or 700,000 inhabitants. In any 
case, it certainly does not go beyond 1,000,000 per- 
sons." This estimate seems to us far more reasonable 
than any other that has been made. Even thus 
reduced, the native population overwhelmingly out- 
numbers the Americo-Liberian. More than that, they 
are at home and acclimated ; they enjoy good health 
and presumably are rapidly increasing. We have 

144 



PROBLEMS. 145 

indeed no means of actually knowing such to be the 
fact. But the impression gained from observation 
is that, while the Ajnerico-Liberians barely hold their 
own, the Kru, the Mohammedans, and the natives of 
the interior are flourishing. Even in crowded and 
unsanitary towns, like those which occur upon the 
borders of Liberian settlements, the Kru appear to be 
increasing. Krutown, at Monrovia, suffers from 
frightful mortality, but those who live are vigorous, 
hardy, and energetic. The houses are crowded close 
together, but there are no empty houses falling into 
ruins and no shrinkage in the area occupied. The 
schools (that is, the mission schools of the Methodists) 
are crowded with children ; the Kru mission chapel 
(Protestant Episcopal) is maintained with an energy 
and interest which could be found only among a 
people who were looking out upon life with the hope 
and vigor which comes from physical prosperity. So 
far as the natives of the interior are concerned, they 
show every sign of increase. There are of course 
abandoned towns and villages in plenty, but the towns 
now occupied are filled with people, and children 
swarm. 

But there are natives and natives. The different 
natives form distinct problems— it is not just one 
simple proposition. The Mandingo and Vai are Mo- 
hammedan populations ; they are independent, proud, 
aggressive; they are industrious, and their industries 
render them to a large degree independent of all 
neighbors. Their towns and villages are large, pros- 
perous, and relatively wealthy. Few visitors have 
ever penetrated into their country; it is practically 
unknown to the Liberians. Yet it is in the highest 
degree important that the Liberians should know 
them thoroughly, should come into close and intimate 
contact with them, should co-operate with them in 
the development and advancement of the country. In 
their towns and villages boys are taught Arabic and 
read the Koran; it is true — as in so much religious 
teaching elsewhere — ^that they often learn only to 

10. 



146 LIBERU. 

repeat the words of the sacred texts without any 
knowledge of their actual meaning — many, however, 
read with understanding. It is an interesting fact 
that the Vai have a system of writing which has been 
invented by themselves; it is widely known among 
them and they are fond of writing letters and making 
records in their own script. Momulu Massaquoi, 
whose name is weU known in this country and in Bng- 
land, is a Vai ; he governed a considerable section of 
his peoplq as chief through a period of years ; he has 
now for some time been located at Monrovia, where 
he ably fills the position of chief clerk in the Depart- 
ment of the Interior; he is useful to the Government 
as an intermediary between it and the Mohammedans 
of the Republic; although himself a Christian, both 
Mandingo and Vai have more confidence in him than 
they could possibly repose in a stranger to their cus- 
toms and languages. There are various ways in which 
the Government misrht proceed to develop friendly 
relations with these people. They should encourage 
village schools — ^both religious and secular; in the 
religious schools, which should be uncontrolled, the 
Koran and Arabic would continue to be the chief sub- 
jects taught; in the other schools there snouid be 
the usual subjects taught in the public schools of the 
Americo-Liberians ; these. will best be taught through 
the Vai language, and charts and text-books should 
be printed in the native characters. Mr. Massaquoi has 
already undertaken to prepare such text-books. Trade 
with these peoples should be encouraged; and devel- 
oped as rapidly as possible. No opportunity should 
be lost to impress upon them that their interests and 
those of the Liberians are one, and every effort should 
be made to gain co-operation. These peoples occupy 
that portion of the Republic which is most in danger 
of aggression by the British; surely the natural 
impulse is for these black peoples, though they be 
Mohammedans, to unite in common progress with 
other blacks rather than with any whites. If religion 
is actually a barrier against friendship and co-opera- 



PROBLEMS. 147 

tion, it would be as strong against friendship with 
the British Christians as against Liberian Christians. 
There is no question, however, that if the Grovemment 
of the Republic will deal justly, amicably, and wisely 
with these tribes, they will heartily respond. 

The Kru and related peoples of the coast form a 
completely different proposition. They are full of 
force and vigor; Sir Harry Johnston and others call 
them *' cheeky"; they are actually awake. They are 
ready for progress; they want education; they have 
for centuries been in contact with white men and 
know their strength and weakness; they are strong, 
intelligent, industrious, and want work. They have 
no dainty fears regarding labor, so that it be paid — 
but pay they want, and justly. At the present they 
form the strongest immediate hope in the Liberian 
population. We have said that they want education ; 
as a matter of fact, they flock into the schools. When 
Bishop Ferguson was at Cape Palmas, in 1912, four 
promising-looking native boys walked from Picka- 
ninny Cess, fifty miles to Cape Palmas. They told 
him they had heard of the big school (Epiphany 
Hall) and desired to attend; that another of their 
comrades was coming the following week. The Bishop 
says: **They are just the age when the inducement 
to go down the coast to earn money is strong ; in fact 
they had already made several trips; but instead of 
going again, they had decided 'to learn book'. I did 
not have the heart to turn such applicants ofif, and so 
wrote to the Principal to admit them under special 
arrangement." When in Monrovia, I several times 
visited the College of West Africa. It is over-crowded 
and ministers to both Americo-Liberian and natives 
boys. On one occasion I seated myself in the midst of 
the class in fourth grade arithmetic. The recitation 
was well conducted and well given. While black- 
board work was occupying the general attention, I 
remarked to a boy at my side, *'But you are a native 
boy." **Yes," he said, *'I am Kru — and so is that 
boy, and that one, and that one." As a matter of 



148 LIBEBU. 

fact, I was practically surrounded by them. *'Well," 
said I, *'and how do you native boys get on? Do 
you do well?" *'Yes, sir," was the immediate 
response, *'we do well; we do better than they do." 
It was not necessary for me to ask who he meant by 
**they." I answered, **It would sound better if 
some one else said so." He replied, **That may be 
so; but it is true." **How does that happen?" I 
asked. His reply deserves attention: **We love our 
country more than they do, sir." I am not pre- 
pared to assert that they love their country more 
than the Americo-Liberians ; it is true, however, that 
they are passionately fond of their native land. The 
first time that my personal attention was turned to 
the black Republic was in 1905 when a Kru boy upon 
our steamer bound to Congo told me with evident 
affection of his dear, his native land, and pointed out 
to me the distant green shore of the villages where 
his people were located. And whether they love 
their country more than the Americo-Liberians or 
no, they are more aggressive, more ambitious, more 
willing to work that they may achieve their ends. 
These Kru boys on their way to and from school 
often, after my visit to the College, dropped in to 
see me. There is the fixed intention among many of 
them to visit the United States and complete their 
studies in our schools. One of these boys informed 
me that five of them some months ago had entered 
into an agreement in some way or other to reach 
our country. All of them have made journeys on 
steamers along the coast; some of them have been 
to Europe; all of them can easily reach Hamburg 
and have money in their pockets; the anxious ques- 
tion with them all is how to go from Hamburg to 
New York — and whether they will be admitted in 
the port — and whether they can form connections 
after they are in our country. There is no foolish- 
ness in all these plans; they have thought them out 
in detail; they will come. 

Then there are the pagan "tribes of the interior. 



PROBLEMS. 149 

They are a more serious proposition for the Liberian 
than the Mohammedans and Km. They are still 
''bush niggers"; they live in little towns under 
the control of petty chiefs ; most of them speak only 
a native language; there is no unity among them; 
not only are there jealousies between the tribes, but 
there are suspicions between the villages of one tribe 
and speech; they live in native houses, wear little 
clothing, have simple needs; they are ununited and 
know nothing of the outside world — they know little 
of France or England, have rarely seen a white man, 
scarcely know what the Liberian Government means 
or wants ; they are satisfied and only wish to be left 
alone; they do not need to work steadily — ^life is 
easy, they raise suflBcient rice and sweet-potatoes and 
corn and cassava to feed themselves; if they wish 
to cover their nakedness, they can weave cloth for 
their own use; there is little which they need from 
other peoples. Few know anything either of the 
teachings of the Prophet or Christianity ; they prac- 
tice fetish — ''devil-worship" — ^have their bush schools 
for the instruction of their boys and girls in the 
mysteries of life and of religion. They are polyga- 
mists, the number of whose wives depends wholly 
upon the ability to accumulate sufficient wealth with 
which to purchase them. Among them domestic 
slavery — ^which, by the way, is not a matter which 
need particularly call for reprehension — ^is common; 
some of the tribes no doubt still practice cannibalism ; 
It is these tribes in the interior upon which Liberia 
depends almost completely for the development of 
wealth; if Liberia shall flourish, it is necessary that 
these peoples shall produce and deliver the raw ma- 
terials for shipment to the outside world ; it is these 
peoples who must supply palm nuts, palm kernels, 
palm oil, piassava fiber, ivory, rubber, gums; it is 
these peoples who must keep the trails open, and 
develop them into roads ; it is they who must permit 
the easy passage of soldiers and Government repre- 



150 LIBEBIA. 

sentatives through their territories; it is they who 
must supply the soldiers for the Frontier Force. 

It is clear, then, that the '^ natives" present no 
simple problem. There are many questions to be con- 
sidered in laying out a native policy. The matter 
has by no means been neglected by Liberian rulers; 
one or another of them has grappled with it. Of 
President Barclay's native policy Gerard says: 
** Among many other subjects of preoccupation, Bar- 
clay attaches an entirely particular importance to 
the native policy. At the beginning of his adminis- 
tration, he brought together a great number of 
native chiefs, notably of the Gtola, Kondo, and Pessy 
tribes; he convoked likewise a crowd of Kru and 
Orebo notabilities; he sent special missions along 
the Cavalla Biver up to two hundred kilometers 
from its mouth, and others up the St. Paul's. This 
innovation was so much the more appreciated by 
the natives, and aided so much more powerfully 
toward the development of mercantile relations of 
the coast district with the interior, because thereto- 
fore the repatriated negroes had been considered by 
their subjugated congeners only as unjust conquerors 
and pillagers, or as merchants who were equally 
tricky and dishonest." 

President Howard also realizes the importance of 
conciUating the native populations; he designs to 
carry out an active policy; in his inaugural address 
he says: ''We are aware of the oft-repeated charges 
of ill treatment toward this portion of our citizen- 
ship, made by foreigners against the officers of the 
Government, also of the fact that some of our people 
feel that these uncivilized citizens have but few 
rights which should be respected or accorded to them. 
But the responsible citizens recognize that in order 
for us to obtain that position of independence, power, 
and wealth, which we should obtain, it must be ac- 
complished by the united efforts of all citizens, 
civilized and uncivilized, male and. female. The de- 
nial of equal rights to the 'natives' has never been 



PROBLEMS. 151 

the intention or purpose of the Government. We will 
not disallow that much wrong has been done to that 
portion of our citizen body, but it is equally true 
that much of the deception and misunderstanding of 
the past have been due to machinations and subter- 
fuges of some unscrupulous aliens, among whom had 
been some missionaries who have done all in their 
power to make and widen the breach between the 
two elements of our citizenship. We are very opti- 
mistic, however, in our belief that the dangers of 
such exploitations and false pretensions of friend- 
ships are drawing to a close." 

Again he says: **Much of our interior trouble of 
the past has been the result of a lack of proper 
understanding between ourselves and our fellow- 
citizens of that section of the land. Another source 
of trouble has been the actions of unqualified men 
sent among these people to represent the Government. 
We believe that great good will accrue to the State 
by holding frequent conferences with these chiefs and 
head men, and by responsible representatives of the 
Government, explaining to them its policy, the bene- 
fits to be derived by them in co-operating to build 
up the country, as well as the evils of the inter-tribal 
wars which they have been waging with each other 
for years." 

Exactly how to unite the chiefs with the Govern- 
ment is a serious question; to seriously weaken their 
authority among their own people would lead to 
chaos; to lead them to recognize the supremacy of 
the Government and yet not arouse their hostility by 
the abrogation of their own powers is a delicate task. 
Yet it must be done. Of one of the notable features 
of this inaugural President Howard himself says the 
following: ''The very large concourse of chiefs and 
head men from the interior of all the counties, as 
well as from the Kru coast and most of the Grebo 
towns in Maryland, who are up to take part in the 
inaugural exercises, is to me one of the most pleasing 
features of the occasion. Their presence here testi- 



152 LIBERIA. 

fies to their loyalty to the State and their willingness 
to co-operate with the Government in matters per- 
taining to the welfare of the country. Moreover it 
betokens the kindly feelings they and their people 
entertain toward the outgoing, and their well wishes 
for the incoming administration." 

No less difficult than the question of how to adjust 
the power of the Government with the power of the 
chiefs is the problem of how to adjust Liberian law 
and practice to native law and practice. According 
to their constitution, Liberia must forever be with- 
out slavery. Still domestic slavery flourishes in the 
interior. We have already indicated our opinion that 
it is not a serious matter and that it may quite well 
be left to regulate itself with time; still there is 
bound to be an outcry on the part of outsiders in this 
matter. Liberia as a civilized and Christian nation 
is legally monogamous; yet both among Moham- 
medans, Kru and pagan interior tribes polygamy is 
common. Is it wise, is it possible to extend the 
monogamous law of the Republic to the polygamous 
natives? Cannibalism no doubt still exists among 
certain of the interior tribes; if so, it will be long 
before the strong arm of the Government located 
upon the coast can reach the practice. Among all 
these native tribes there are methods of procedure 
and ordeals which have their value and their place. 
Thus the sassy-wood ordeal is used not only in deal- 
ing with witchcraft, but with a thousand other diffi- 
culties and misdemeanors; personally I should 
consider it unwise to attempt to do away with such 
native methods of control ; they work more certainly 
than the legal procedure of the civilized government 
can work. A wise policy will probably lead to the 
gradual disappearance of these things with a gen- 
eral advance in education and with a greater contact 
with the outside world. There is always, however, 
the danger of these native practices extending their 
influence upon the Christian x)opulations in the out- 
side settlements. If the bush negro is polygamous, 



PROBLEMS. 153 

and the Americo-Liberian is in constant contact with 
his polygamy, the legal monogamy of the Government 
may become more difficult to maintain; if the sassy- 
wood ordeal is repeatedly seen to be eflfective in the 
conviction of the truly guilty, there will be a con- 
stant tendency to reproduce it for the detection and 
discrimination of criminals among the civilized; if 
domestic slavery is tolerable among the neighboring 
pagans, a feeling of the harmlessness of some vicious 
system of apprenticeship may be developed. These 
are real dangers, and while it probably is wise to 
exercise a deal of tolerance toward native customs, 
it must be constantly and carefully watched from 
this point of view. 

The native life is certainly good in many ways; 
all that is actually good in it should be left so far 
as possible. Native houses are well adapted to the 
conditions of the country and nothing is gained by 
the attempt to change the styles of local architecture ; 
scantness of clothing, or even nakedness, is not im- 
moral, suggestive, or in itself worthy of blame — ^and 
native dress, though scanty, may be entirely becom- 
ing and even beautiful; there are many native arts 
— which, far from being blotted out, might well be 
conserved and developed; public palavers in native 
communities are often models of dignified conduct 
and serious consideration; the respect shown to na- 
tive chiefs is often warranted and in every way 
should be encouraged and developed. The topic 
lends itself to many observations and tempts to full 
development. We can only say, however, that there 
are actually few things in native life which deserve 
condemnation and immediate destruction. The na- 
tives will be happier, better, and make more certain 
progress if they are permitted to build largely upon 
their own foundations. Dr. Blyden was always beg- 
ging the people to make an African nation in Liberia, 
not the copy of a European state. Delafosse carries 
the same plea to an even greater extreme. It is impos- 
sible to actually meet the wishes of these gentlemen. 



154 LIBERIA. 

Liberia is and must be patterned after other civilized 
nations. Such a native African state, original in 
all things, and purely African, as Delafosse 
imagines, would not be permitted to exist a single 
week by the crowding, selfish, civilized and Chris- 
tian foreign nations. If Liberia is to play within 
the game, it mjist follow the rules of play. 

In dealing with its natives, the government should 
be frank, honest, and candid; it should make no 
promises unless it knows that it can keep them — ^un- 
less it means to keep them — unless it will keep them. 
Too many times in the past, when misunderstandings 
have led to armed resistance on the part of native 
peoples, the Government has appealed to one or an- 
other man of great personal influence among the 
aroused natives. Facing danger, frightened, want- 
ing peace at any price, it has authorized its repre- 
sentative to make promises of satisfaction which it 
knew perfectly well could not and would not be kept. 
Such a temporizing policy is always bad ; it not only 
fails to right wrongs, but destroys the trust of natives 
in the government, and shatters the influence for 
good which the intermediary formerly enjoyed. 

It is time that, in dealing with the natives, chiefs 
be considered as men and dealt with not as if they 
were spoiled children; appeals should be made to 
manhood and to principle, not to depraved ambitious 
tendencies. Less gin and more cloth should be used 
in gaining their assistance. President Howard per- 
tinently says in this direction: *'By way of encour- 
aging the 'natives' to stay at home and develop their 
lands, we feel that instead of granting 'stipends' 
and 'dashes' as formerly, they should be given only 
to the chiefs and people who will put on the market 
so many hundred bushels of kernels, or gallons of 
oil, so many pounds of ivory, rubber, coffee, cocoa, 
ginger, etc., or so many hundred kroos of clean rice. 
The proceeds of these products, of course, would go 
to the owners. We feel that this plan would have a 
better result than the one now in vogue." 



PROBLEMS. 155 

That there should be a feeling of caste in the 
Republic is natural. There are actual differences 
between the four populations which we have indicated. 
It is impossible that Americo-Liberians, Mohamme- 
dans, coast peoples, and interior natives should not 
feel that they are different from each other, and in 
this difference find motives of conduct. This feeling 
of difference is based upon actual inherent facts of 
difference, and can not be expected to disappear. It 
ediould, however, give rise to mutual respect, not to 
prejudice and inequality of treatment. Every motive 
of sound policy must lead the Liberian in the civil- 
ized settlements to recognize the claims, the rights, 
the opportunities which lie within this difference. He 
needs the friendship of the **bush nigger*' far more 
than that pagan needs his. Caste in the sense of 
proud discrimination of social difference and the in- 
troduction of over-bearing treatment must be avoided. 
It is suicide to encourage and permit the development 
of such a feeling. 

In the nature of things, constant intermarriage 
takes place between the Americo-Liberians and the 
natives. There is more or less prejudice against such 
connections, but they have taken place ever since the 
days of the first settlement. They are, for the most 
part, one-sided, Americo-Liberian men marrying 
native women. The other relation, namely that of 
native men with Liberian women, is so rare that it 
may almost be said not to occur. There is no ques- 
tion that these mixtures should tend to produce a 
good result, the children inheriting physical strength 
and fitness to their surroundings beyond that of the 
Americo-Liberian. There is, however, a danger in 
such unions; the native woman has all her associa- 
tions and connections with her own people, and there 
is a constant tendency for the husband to assume a 
position of influence among the natives, adopting 
more or less of their customs, and suffering the re- 
lapse of which we hear so often. None the less it is 



156 LIBERIA. 

certain that such mixtures are more than likely to 
increase in number with the passage of time. 

A notable influence upon the native problem may 
be expected from the Frontier Force. The soldiers 
for this force are regularly drawn from the tribes 
of the interior. It is easy to get Boozi Mpesse, 
and their neighbors in large numbers. They come 
to Monrovia as almost naked savages, with no know- 
ledge of the outside world, but with strong, well- 
developed bodies; they are quite amenable to train- 
ing and quickly make improvement ; they have almost 
the minds of children, and are easily led in either 
direction; if well treated, they have a real affection 
for their officers ; if they are badly treated, they are 
morose, dispirited, and dangerous. They love the 
companionship, the bustle, the music, and the uni- 
forms, and rather quickly submit themselves with 
fair grace to discipline. They regularly bring their 
women and their boy slaves with them from their 
distant homes, and these live together in special 
houses constructed at the border of the barracks- 
grounds. As the government not infrequently is in 
arrears in paying them their wages, there are times 
when the camp is full of insubordination and bad 
feeling; at such times there is always danger, unless 
the officers are tactful, of their becoming mutinous, 
and demanding payment with a show and threat of 
force. It is not impossible that some time on such 
occasions serious results may occur. When the term 
of enlistment has ended, thpse soldiers may go back 
to their towns and villages, carrying with them the 
effect of the influences, good or bad, to which they 
have been subjected at the capital. Not a few of them, 
however, re-enlist for a second, or even a third, term 
of service. The effect of this training must be very 
great upon the tribes. It could be made a most im- 
portant influence for raising the condition of the 
whole interior; there is no more certain way by 
which the people of the remoter tribes may come to 
know about the Government. 



PROBLEMS. 157 

We have read dreadful accounts of the relapse of 
civilized natives to their old form of life. Bright 
boys taken from the interior towns and villages are 
trained in mission schools, or even sent to the United 
States, and given a fairly liberal education. They 
have become nominal Christians; they have learned 
English and can read and write; they wear white 
men's dress and seem to have adopted white men's 
ways; much is expected of them when they return 
to their native country in the way of mission effort 
with their people. After they return, all changes; 
their Christianity takes flight; having no one but 
their own people with whom to converse, they return 
to the native dialect; as the European dress wears 
out, they soon possess a nondescript wardrobe; in- 
stead of leading their people in the ways of industry, 
they sit down at ease ; gradually they resume natural 
relations with their people and play the part of ad- 
visers to the chiefs, or even themselves become petty 
chiefs; of them it is frequently claimed that they 
have all the vices of Christian and pagan and none 
of the virtues of either. There is more or less of 
reality in such accounts. But it is not true, even in 
these cases, that nothing has been gained. One must 
not expect rare individuals to produce rapid results 
in a great mass of population. It is doubtful whether 
the result is harmful. The importance, however, of 
impressing upon all children, who are taken into 
mission schools, their relation to the government, 
their duty to it, and the advantage of co-operation 
with it, should be profoundly emphasized; in such 
schools loyalty is as important a subject for inculca- 
tion as religion, reading, and industry. If as much 
care were taken to instruct the mission child in his 
duties as a citizen, as is taken in other directions, 
every one of these persons on their return to the bush 
would be a genuinely helpful and elevating influ- 
ence. It is also true that Americo-Liberians occasion- 
ally take to the bush. Sometimes they are persons 
who have had difficulties in the settlements and find 



158 LIBERIA. 

it convenient to change location ; sometimes they are 
men who have married native women and find it 
easier and more profitable to turn their attention 
toward the natives; sometimes they are traders who 
spend about one-half their time in settlements and 
the other half in going from town to town to secure 
products; sometimes they are shiftless vagabonds 
merely drifting from place to place in order to avoid 
labor. Such Liberians among the natives may be 
found everywhere. They are usually of little value 
to those among whom they live. But the fact that 
there are such should not be over-emphasized. It is 
by no means true that the Americo-Liberians as a 
whole tend to throw off civilization and to become 
degenerate. 

Prom this native mass much that has been helpful 
to the nation has already been secured. Work among 
them has always been accompanied by encouraging 
results. Two-thirds of the communicants of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church are natives; they show 
as true a character, as keen a mind, as high ideals, 
often more vigor, than the Americo-Liberians in the 
same churches. Wherever the native is given the 
same just chance as his Liberian brother, he gives 
an immediate response. At the Girls' School in 
Bromley, and among the boys at Clay- Ashland, na- 
tives and Liberians do the same work and offer the 
same promise; so in the College of West Africa 
the Kru boys are every whit as good as the Liberians. 
The number of natives who are at present occupying 
positions of consequence in the Republic is encour- 
aging. The Secretary of the Department of Educa- 
tion, Dr. Payne, is a Ba^usa; Mr. Massaquoi, a Vai, 
holds the chief clerkship in the Department of the 
Interior; Senator Harris is the son of a native, 
Bassa, mother: Mr. Karnga, member of the House 
of Representatives, is a son of a recaptured African 
— a Kongo; Dr. Anthony, a Bassa, is Professor of 
Mathematics in Liberia College; there are numbers 
of Grebo clergymen of prominence and success within 



PROBLEMS, 159 

the Protestant Episcopal Church — as McKrae, who 
is pastor of the flourishing Kru Chapel at Monrovia, 
and Russell, who is pastor of the Liberian Church at 
Grand Bassa. 

The natives, after all, are the chief asset of the 
nation. Only by their eo-operation can aggression 
and pressure from outside be resisted; carefully de- 
veloped and wisely utilized, they must and will be 
the defense and strength of the Liberian nation. 
Even if immigration on an enormous scale, a thing 
not to be expected, should take place, the native popu- 
lation will never be submerged; it will continue to 
maintain supremacy in numbers. 



For support given to education, Liberia holds the first place 
among West African administrations. Sierra Leone, with a 
revenue six times greater than Liberia, spends only one-fifth 
of the sum devoted by our State to the cause of public instruc- 
tion. — ^A. Barclay. 

EDUCATION. 

The importance of education was recognized by 
the * 'fathers." The quotation of President Roberts 
which we have given above voiced the feelings of the 
more thoughtful of the settlers. Yet it must be ad- 
mitted that the educational situation is far from per- 
fect. There is a recently establish Department of 
Education, the Secretary of which holds a Cabinet 
position. In 1912 Dr. Payne had under his direc- 
tion ninety-one public schools in different parts of 
the Republic. Most of these schools were housed in 
buildings totally unsuited to their purpose; they 
were small, badly built, and unsupplied with even 
the barest equipment. There are no book-stores in 
Liberia, and there is a notable lack of suitable text- 
books for the children's use; there are few black- 
boards and those of poor quality; the desks, seats, 
and other furniture are conspicuous either for their 
absence or poor quality. Teachers are frequently 
badly prepared; they not infrequently neglect their 
duties ; the number of days of teaching is uncertain 
— as often the teachers will be occupied with other 
work than that to which they are supposed to devote 
their time and attention. Salaries are very low and 
badly paid. Mr. Deputie, once Superintendent of 
Education, in his report of 1905, appealing to the 
legislature, said: ''Lend a hand by your ofi5cial acts 
that will tend to ameliorate the condition of the 
teachers in the public schools, that they may receive 

160 



PROBLEMS. 161 

a just reconq)ense of reward. Some of these teachers, 
after serving faithfully during the quarter, receive 
only ten shillings on their bills, while many others 
of them receive not a shilling. ' ' In 1910 Mr. Edwin 
Barclay was General Superintendent of the Schools. 
He made a careful study of the situation and in his 
report presents interesting statistics and facts with 
reference to the condition. . He made a series of 
thoughtful recommendations for the future, and 
drew up an entire scheme of proposed legislation. 
Much of that. which he suggested has been approved 
and theoretically put in practice. In regard to the 
matter of teachers' salaries, he makes an interesting 
statement in tabulated form, comparing the average 
salaries of teachers with those of clerks in the de- 
partment of the Government and in mercantile estab- 
lishments. He shows us that the average salary of 
public school teachers at that time was $143.95 per 
year; that this salary was stationary and without 
increment of any kind. At that same time, clerks in 
government departments received an average salary 
of $321.29 per year with definite chance of promotion 
and a career before them. Clerks in mercantile es- 
tablishments did even better, receiving an average 
annual salary of $365.90 a year with contingent in- 
crement annually of from twenty to fifty per cent on 
net profits. It is hardly strange under the circum- 
stances that good teachers are rare and that promis- 
ing young men should look to other fields than that 
of teaching. Three grades of teachers are recognized 
in the public schools; all teachers are required to 
pass an examination and receive certificates; second 
grade teachers receive thirty dollars per year more 
than third grade teachers, and teachers of first grade, 
thirty dollars more than those of second grade. Pub- 
lic schools are subject to the inspection of a local 
school committee which "consists of three good, 
honest, substantial citizens of the locality, having an 
interest in education. Sex ought not to be a barrier. 

They need not be highly educated, but should be able 
11. 



162 LIBERU. 

to read and write intelligently and earnest friends 
of education.'' Membership in the committee is 
purely honorary, no fee accompanying the appoint- 
ment. The members of the committee are to take an 
annual census of children of school age and to see 
that they attend school; they are to keep tab on the 
teacher and report him if he be guilty of immoral 
conduct or fails to advance his school. Bach county 
has a school Commissioner whose business it is to 
examine candidates for teaching, to employ and 
direct teachers, to approve bills of salary, to visit 
each school in his district without announcement at 
least once a quarter, to remove and replace teachers, 
to make reports to the General Superintendent, to 
supply text-books, and hold annual teachers' meet- 
ings in order to develop greater ability on the part 
of the instructors. Compulsory education is recog- 
nized in the Republic; as, however, many young 
people are obliged to assist in the support of the 
families to which they belong, night schools are pro- 
vided for those who may be working during the hours 
of the day. The public schools are practically con- 
fined to the Americo-Liberian settlements. The latest 
definite statistics in regard to the number of chil- 
dren in attendance on the public schools are those of 
1910. At that time 1782 children were in the schools ; 
of these 1225 were civilized, 557 uncivilized, i. e., 
native; the distribution according to counties was as 
follows : In Grand Bassa County, 407 ; in Maryland 
County, 148; in Montserrado County, 947; in Sinoe 
County, 280. The instillation of patriotism into the 
young mind is regarded as a matter of importance, 
and it is required that the flag of the Republic shall 
be daily displayed at every school-house or place 
where public school is held; and **the hoisting and 
striking of colors at the daily opening and close of 
school session shall be attended with such ceremonies 
as shall tend to instill into the minds of the" pupils 
a respect and veneration for the flag and a knowledge 
of the principle for which it stands." 



PROBLEMS. 163 

The public schools, however, are probably less 
numerous, and certainly reach feVer scholars than 
the various mission schools conducted by the differ- 
ent denominations. At the time that Mr. Barclay 
made his report he claimed but sixty-five public 
schools to ninety mission schools. While the public 
schools reached 1782 schools, the mission schooki had 
an attendance of 3270 children. 

Denomination Schools Pupils Teachers 

Methodist Episcopal 35 1,300 55 

Baptist 1 25 1 

Lutheran 7 275 13 

Protestant Episcopal 47 1,670 55 

Total 90 3,270 124 

These mission schools very largely reach a native 
population; it is true that some Liberians attend 
them, but the larger number in the attendance is 
from native families; all the schools located in na- 
tive towns are, probably, under mission guidance. 
In some respects these schools are distinctly superior 
to the public schools of the Eepublic. Their teachers, 
with higher salaries, devote themselves with more 
energy to their work; text-books are supplied and 
the equipment for school work is better; the build- 
ings, too, both in construction, lighting, and adapta- 
tion to their work, are better. A glance at the table 
shows that the Protestant Episcopal Church is in 
the lead. The work reported by Bishop Ferguson in 
his last annual report is most encouraging. Two 
schools at Cape Mount, one for boys and one for 
girls, care for both boarding and day students; at 
Monrovia the parish school is attended by 157 Kru 
children; the Girls' School at Bromley, with 78 
boarding pupils, is flourishing; at Clay- Ashland the 
new Alexander Crummell Hall was nearing comple- 
tion, and the young men and boys there were full of 
enthusiasm; in Grand Bassa County parish day 
schools were conducted at Edina, Upper Buchanan, 
and Lower Buchanan; at Tobakoni work for Kru 



164 LIBERIA. 

boys was conducted at a boarding school which had 
recently extended its work to the neighboring village 
of Nito; in Sinoe County both a parish day school 
and a boarding school were maintained; in Maryland 
County, where the work of this mission culminates, 
there is Cuttington Collegiate and Divinity School 
with 121 pupils, the Orphan Asylum and Girls' 
School, St. Mark's Parish School, the boarding school 
at Mount Vaughn, and thirteen boarding and day 
schools at other places. We have no adequate infor- 
mation regarding the excellent work of the Metho- 
dist schools and those of other denominations. Their 
work is, however, actively conducted. The Luther- 
ans, from their centre at Muhlenburg, make the cen- 
tral idea of their mission effort the educational work ; 
they emphasize, too, the manual phase of education 
and encourage the development of arts, industries, 
and agriculture. 

Two of the mission schools demand special men- 
tion, as they represent the highest development of 
educational work in the Kepublic. These are: 
Epiphany Hall, Cuttington, four and a half miles 
from Cape Palmas, and the College of West Africa, 
located at Monrovia. 

The work at Cuttington began in 1889, when the 
Cuttington Collegiate and Divinity School was 
founded under the auspices of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. One of the basic principles in Mary- 
land since its foundation has been the development 
of agriculture. The efforts of the founders of the 
colony were exerted against trade and in favor of 
production. This desirable ideal has never been lost. 
At Epiphany Hall an important part of the schooPs 
plan is that students should be taught to work: a 
coffee plantation and a farm are connected with the 
fiichool, and four hours a day of practical agriculture 
and horticulture are required; connected with this 
school also is a printing establishment at Harper, the 
work of which is done by students of the school. So 
far as the literary work is concerned, the school is 



PROBLEMS. 165 

divided into three departments — ^preparatory, higher, 
and theological. The work in the preparatory school 
covers four years; it is primarily arranged with na- 
tive needs in mind, but other students are admitted. 
The work of the higher school consists of a two years' 
advanced course, two years of collegiate work, a year's 
course for a certificate of proficiency in general educa- 
tion, and a normal course. The work of the theolog- 
ical school covers three yearsi, and is arranged with 
reference to preparation for the ministry. 

The College of West Africa is located at Monrovia, 
and is under the direction of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. The building is an ugly structure of brick 
which has served its purpose for a long time and 
which should soon be replaced by a new and better 
building. It is, however, a hive of industry; it is 
crowded with boys and girls who are earnestiy desir- 
ing an education. A great number of the students 
live in the building as boarders; many also come 
from the town of Monrovia and from **Krutown.'- 
The teachers are mostly American negroes who have 
been trained in our southern schools. The courses 
offered cover a considerable range. 

The work in this institution began in 1839 under 
Jabez A. Burton, assisted by Mrs. Anne Wilkins and 
Mrs. Eunice Moore. The present building was erected 
in 1849 at an expense of $10,000. The work of the 
school is divided among seven departments. The 
primary school covers three years; the grammar 
school three years ; the high school two years. There 
is a normal course for the preparation of teachers; 
in the college preparatory and the college depart- 
ments the classics are taught. In the biblical depart- 
' ment the design is to prepare religious workers. 
There is an industrial department in which instruc- 
tion is given in carpentry, tin-smithing, shoe-making, 
black-smithing, and printing; in this department 
girls receive instruction in home-training. The print- 
ing establishment demands particular notice ; almost 
all the unofficial printing of the Republic, outside of 



166 UBERIA. 

the county of Maryland, is done apo^ the press 
of the College of West Africa. Many creditable 
pieces of workmanship have been put out by this 
institution and the mission paper, Liberia and West 
Africa, is printed here. The college conducts night 
schools for those who can not attend during the day- 
time. Begular charges are made for tuition, text- 
books, and — to those students who board in the insti- 
tution — for room, board, and washing. These charges 
are extremely modest and can be rather easily met; 
through the opportunities connected with the indus- 
trial department students who wish to earn their 
education can largely do so. With the exception of 
printing, the work of the industrial school is con- 
ducted outside of the city of Monrovia. 

We have already stated that the mission schools 
are better equipped and more attractive than the 
public schools. The work of such schools is desirable 
and should be encouraged and developed. At the 
same time it is true that in such schools exists an 
element of possible danger. This is brought out by 
Mr. Barclay in his report. He says:. **As regardi» 
the mission schools, if we observe attentively the final 
efforts of their endeavors, we will discover that, when 
they have operated exclusively in civilized centers, 
they have been a great public service and in many 
cases have supplied the want of a public school sys- 
tem. But, on the other hand, where the scope of 
their operations has extended beyond these centers, 
to districts wholly or mainly uncivilized, their care 
has been to *save souls' rather than to create citi- 
zens or to develop proper ideals of citizenship. Their 
tendency is toward denationalization. Here, then, is 
where they come in conflict, unconsciously perhaps, 
with the imperative policy of the government. Pupils 
coming to attend the mission schools, for however 
short a period, leave with a feeling of antagonism 
to constituted authority, or at best, with no senti- 
ments of congeniality with the civilized element either 
in aspirations or ideals. On returning to their homes, 



PROBLEMS. 167 

they develop into pernicious and vehement dema- 
gogues. Fomenting the tribal spirit in opposition 
to the national ideal, they frequently lead their peo- 
ple to foolish and irrational measures, and stir up 
misunderstanding and discord between them and the 
Government. They, pose as arbiters between these 
two parties to their own profit, and, finally, when dis- 
covered, are discredited by both. The net result of 
this missionary activity, unsupervised and unregu- 
lated, is to create an element of discord in the State, 
which it becomes imperative to stamp out by force 
and at great expense to the public. These facts of 
course do not apply universally; but they are suflS- 
ciently general to attract attention and to call for 
amelioration of the condition which they point out 
as existing. It should not be thought that these re- 
marks are intended or designed to discredit absolutely 
all missionary enterprises. But what I do desire to 
point out is that some supervision should be exercised 
over these schools by the Government. Under the 
direction of unscrupulous and unsympathetic people, 
they may be made powerful agencies of disintegra- 
tion in the State. It must not be overlooked that 
the foreign missionary does not feel himself called 
upon to help direct in the process of nation-building. 
His aspirations are after spreading his own form of 
superstition and toward the realization of his particu- 
lar moral Utopia.'' 

Again he says: ** . . . all private aflfairs, 
when they impinge on the domain of public aflfairs, 
or assume a quasi-public character, must become the 
subject of regulation by public authority. So far as 
internal administration goes, the State has, and can 
claim, no concern so long as such administration 
squares with legality. But public authority must 
«tep in when these schools become potent factors in 
public economy. We have been led, therefore, to the 
suggestion that such schools as are established by for- 
eign and domestic mission societies in the Bepublic, 
should conform, in their primary grades especially, 



168 UBEIOA. 

to the requirements of law for the public schools, 
and that the Department of Public Instruction should 
have the right to inspect these schools in order 
to find out if the conditions are being kept. To 
secure this, every school, before beginning operations, 
should be registered at the Department of Public In- 
struction, and licensed to this end. Where the legal 
requirements have not been kept, the Board of Educa- 
tion, or other educational authority, should have the 
power of summarily closing said school. These regu- 
lations are necessary when we consider the peculiar 
conditions which confront us in the administration 
of the country." 

Again he says: ** While the State must in great 
measure depend upon the public spirit and mission- 
ary zeal of individual citizens in fomenting and cre- 
ating the national spirit, it is, a priori, the duty of 
the people in their collective capacity to provide 
capital means to this end. If the country is to be 
utilized, if we are to develop into a strong nation, 
capable of ^demanding universal respect, and worthy 
of taking that leading place among African states 
and the African civilization, which is our destiny, 
the preoccupation of government for the next two 
or three generations must be in the direction of de- 
veloping a specific type of citizens, animated by an 
identical spirit, filled with an unbounded faith in 
their destiny, and possessed and inspired by the same 
ideals. As this is to be effected through the schools, 
we can not escape the impressions: (a) That some 
central authority of the State must supervise all 
educational operations in the country; (b) that, if 
mission schools and private corporate and non-cor- 
porate institutions be allowed, they must operate sub- 
ject to limitations imposed by law as regards the 
course of study, the general character of instruction, 
and the special object to be obtained, especially in 
the primary grades. In other words, they must assist 
in developing the civic instincts of the pupils; (c) 



PROBLEMS. 169 

that a uniform system, of ttaining must be rigidly, 
consciously, and universally enforced." 

The matter suggested by these quotations is really 
of considerable importance. The central thought of 
them is surely sound; all mission schools, while en- 
tirely free to teach religion according to their own 
tenets, should consult together and have a uniform 
system of secular instruction which should be kept 
quite separate from the religious teaching; this 
sliould be of the same character and have the same 
end as the teaching offered in the public schools; 
the mission schools should work in harmony with the 
public schools and should recognize the Superintend- 
ent of Education; they should heartily co-operate 
with him toward the production of good citizens and 
the development of a feeling of respect and loyalty 
to the national government. It is true that some 
of them have a standard which is not reached by the 
public schools; such should not, of course, reduce 
their standard, but should serve as a friendly ex- 
ample to the Government of what is reasonably 
expected of schools of their grade. The proper treat- 
ment of this matter calls for great tact and good 
spirit on both sides. 

We have already called attention to the fact that 
in Vai and Mandingo towns instruction is given to 
boys in Arabic and in the reading of the Koran. 
These little village schools are interesting. The boys 
use smooth boards with handles as slates; these are 
smeared over with a light colored clay, and passages 
from the sacred writing are copied in black upon 
the light surface; the little fellows are constantly 
drilled in reading these passages aloud and in copy- 
ing similar passages upon their wooden tablets. Such 
schools as these form a nucleus which could be 
utilized in the development of schools for broader 
instruction. We have already called attention to the 
fact that the Vai have a phonetic system of their 
own, developed among themselves. The ability to 
write and read this phonetic script is rather widely 



170 LIBERIA. 

spread, and when schools come to be established in 
Vai towns this system might be widely utilized for 
purposes of education. 

Theoretically, and to some degree actually, Liberia 
College stands at the summit of the Liberian system 
of education. It has had a checkered history with 
ups and downs; most observers have been inclined 
to see and emphasize the downs. In 1848 John Payne, 
of the Episcopal mission, suggested to Simon Green- 
leaf, of Boston, that a school of theology should be 
established in Liberia. Partly as the result of this 
suggestion, in 1850 there was established in Massa- 
chusetts a Board of Trustees of Donations for Educa- 
tion in Liberia. In 1851 the Liberian legislature 
incorporated Liberia College, the outgrowth of the 
steps already taken, although not in the exact direc- 
tion suggested by John Payne. In 1857 Ex-President 
J. J. Roberts was elected first president of Liberia 
College, and superintended the erection of the build- 
ing which had been provided for. During the next 
few years further funds were raised for the purpose 
of conducting the enterprise, and in 1861 the endow- 
ment was vested in a Board of eighteen Trustees. In 
1862 Liberia College was opened for work. Since 
that time it has had a struggling existence, making 
periodical appeals for financial assistance, receiving 
donations of more or less magnitude, occasionally 
putting forth a spurt of momentary vigor, then lan- 
guishing almost to the point of death; again and 
again this round of experiences has been run by the 
institution. It is difficult to secure definite and con- 
nected information regarding it ; to prepare a fairly 
complete history would involve considerable labor. 
It is interesting to notice that, among the expressed 
purposes of the institution, was the providing of an 
opportunity for American colored youth to receive 
an education, as they were then debarred from edu- 
cational institutions in our country. There were at 
first three chairs in the institution: — Jurisprudence 
and International Law, English Literature and Moral 



PROBLEMS. 171 

and Mental Philosophy, and the Fulton Chair of 
Languages; in 1905 the faculty consisted of eight 
members, including the president. In 1879 there was 
but a single teacher, who was giving instruction in 
mathematics (to which chair he was originally ap- 
pointed) and also in languages. The largest dona^ 
tion at any time received by the College was from 
Joseph Fulton, of New York, who left $25,000, the 
income of which was to support the Fulton professor, 
who was to be nominated by the New York Coloniza- 
tion Society; the Board of Donations of Boston has 
had some $30,000 at interest for the benefit of the 
institution; Albert Fearing at one time gave $5000 
for library purposes. In addition to these gifts and 
bequests from and in America the institution has 
received and does receive some governmental aid; 
1000 acres of land in each county have been set apart 
for its advantage; certain sources of income are 
theoretically devoted to its maintenance. At one 
time four scholarships had been established and 
named; these scholarships were, the Gordon Me- 
morial (in memory of Midshipman Gordon, who 
died in 1822), the John Payne Scholarship, the 
Simon Greenleaf Scholarship, and the George Briggs 
Scholarship. To what degree these scholarships are 
still productive we do not know. The institution 
had run down and was threatened with extinction 
when, in 1898, under the national administration of 
President W. E. Coleman, it received a new impulse, 
and in the year 1900 was re-organized. It is unfor- 
tunate that the exact status of Liberia College is not 
more definite; it is neither fish, flesh nor fowl; it is 
at once a private institution with a directorate and 
management located across the seas, and a part of a 
system of public education, receiving aid from 
national funds. 

Such is the condition of education in the Republic. 
It leaves much to be desired. Those who lead public 
thought are by no means ignorant of its weak fea- 
tures; the national poverty, however, makes it diffi- 



172 LIBERU. 

cult to develop better things. If the nation is to 
advance, its education must be greatly, improved. 
This improvement must begin at the very foundation 
with the primary public schools. These need reform 
in the matter of buildings, equipment, and teachers' 
salaries; if good teachers are to be secured, and kept 
steadily at work to earn their salaries, they must be 
promptly paid — prompt payment of any employees 
is a difficult matter in Liberia. There should be a 
large increase in the number of public schools; there 
are perhaps as many as are necessary within the civil- 
ized settlements, but the native towns are almost 
without school opportunities, except as these are 
offered by the missions. There is crying need of the 
establishment of public schools in native towns. Such 
should, however, be established only in towns where 
genuine promises of self-support are given. There 
are, no doubt, many towns where, if the matter were 
properly presented, the chiefs would readily build a 
school-building, order the children to attend school, 
and support a teacher. Such a teacher should be 
well acquainted with the native tongue, and the bulk 
of the instruction should be given in it; to teach 
elementary branches in a foreign language is poor 
policy; true, it has been attempted — ^as on a wide 
scale in the Philippines, but mental and moral im- 
becility are likely to be developed by such procedure ; 
English should be taught, but it should be taught as 
a subject in itself, and the English language iSiould 
not be used as the medium for conveying elemeniary 
instruction in fundamental branches; after English 
has once been learned, it is of course desirable to 
encourage the reading of English books and the ac- 
quisition of general knowledge through such reading. 
It will probably be suggested that it will be impos- 
sible to find teachers acquainted with the native 
tongues and competent to teach the various branches 
of primary education ; such a difficulty ought not to 
exist after nearly eighty years of mission schools 
which have by preference sought to teach and raise 



PROBLEMS. 173 

the native population. It will be claimed that such 
teachers in native towns will be in danger of relapse ; 
there is such danger, but it is far less than might be 
thought, provided the Department of Public Instruc- 
tion keeps in constant touch with such teachers in 
native towns and properly emphasizes to the native 
chiefs the value of schools and education. When we 
were in the Bassa country, we found, at a native town 
quite in the interior, an intelligent black man who 
spoke English well and who told us that he had been 
sent out by the Lutheran mission at Muhlenburg to 
pick np and bring in native boys for instruction at 
that famous school; he told us at that time, that the 
chief of the village where we were, together with 
the leading men, were very anxious that a local school 
should be established in their midst, and promised 
land, a building, and attendance. It would be easy 
if the matter were handled wisely, to establish at 
once, in twenty native towns, carefully selected 
among the different tribes, twenty local schools which 
would be supported with considerable enthusiasm by 
the communities in which they were situated. If the 
Government could at once equip these twenty schools 
with good teachers who had graduated from the mis- 
sion schools, there would spring up a popular demand 
throughout the whole interior for the establishment 
of village schools ; it would be difficult to satisfy the 
demand, but from the number of villages asking for 
the establishment of schools, a reasonable number 
of the best might be selected, and the work would 
grow. There would actually be little expense in such 
development; if it is to be successful, and if it is 
worth while, it should originate largely with the 
towns themselves, and every school should be prac- 
tically self-supporting. For a time of course there 
would be on the part of chiefs a demand for some 
sort of bribe or '*dash"; this ought to be refused in 
every case. 

To illustrate exactly what is meant, we quote a 
sample of the kind of document which mission schools 



174 LIBERU. 

at one time regularly drew up with the idea of getting 
children into school. It is presented in Hoyt's Land 
of Hope: — ** Articles of agreement between Tweh, 
King of Dena, his head men and people, and the 
Methodist Episcopal Mission: 

Art. 1. The mission school is to have at all times 
at least ten boys; and more if they should be wanted. 
Oirls at all times are desirable. 

Art. 2. The children of the school are at all times 
to be under the entire control of Mr. Philip Gross 
and his successors in the teaching and government of 
this station, without interruption on the part of their 
parents or guardians until the time for which they 
are put in the mission school shall have expired. 

Art. 3. As good substantial buildings may soon 
be required for teachers to reside in, and more land 
will be constantly wanted for manual labor purposes, 
the King, his head men and people, also agree to pro- 
tect the missionaries in occupying and using it, in 
the manner they may think proper, without resi)on- 
sibility to any one beyond themselves. The King, 
etc., agree to protect them in their persons and prop- 
erty from either abuse or violence, and if anything 
is stolen from them, the King, his head men and 
people, promise to see it returned or paid for. 

Art. 4. As long as the authorities of Dena con- 
tinue to fulfill this agreement, by giving the chil- 
dren for school instruction, and protecting the 
mission and mission-premises from intrusion and dis- ' 
turbance, the mission will give them annually, (about 
Christmas) one piece of blue baft, two small kegs 
of powder, ten bars of tobacco, ten bars of pipes, and 
fifty gun-flints; with the understanding, that this 
being done, they are not to be teased for dash to 
any one. 

Art. 5. But if the King and his head men fail 
to fulfill the conditions of the above agreement, then 



PROBLEMS. 175 

they will be under no obligations as a mission to give 
the above named articles. 

Francis Burns, Preacher in Charge. 



Philip Gross, 
Ney (his * mark), 
John Banks, 

Witnesses, . 



TwEH, his * mark, 
ToBOTO, his * mark, 
TwABO, his * mark, 
TwAAH, his * mark, 
Ero-bawh, his * mark, 
Nywah-wah, his * mark, 



Of course this document is many years old. No 
doubt, however, the bad policy of paying chiefs for 
permission to establish schools in towns and for chil- 
dren who shall receive instruction is continued by the 
mission schools. Certainly, however, if the govern- 
ment develop its own plans of dealing with native 
chiefs for the encouragement of trade, it will be easy 
to do away with this idea of compensation for the 
tolerance of schools. Such native village schools as 
we have recommended should not attempt to do more 
than teach the elements of education; they should 
correspond to the primary schools in the system of 
public education for the nation; every teacher in 
charge of such schools should be expected to encour- 
age boys and girls of exceptional promise and dili- 
gence, who do well in the village schools, to go up 
to the local ** feeder'*. 

When we were in Monrovia, we were asked more 
than once whether it was best to remove Liberia Col- 
lege into the interior. It is the opinion of many 
that such removal should take place. The answer to 
the question depends entirely upon what is conceived 
to be the proper function of Liberia College. If it 
is to be an institution of higher education, if it is to 
aim at academic instruction and the development of 
able men for the filling of public positions, for pro- 
fessional life, for leadership, it wotdd be a great mis- 
take to move it. To remove such an institution into 
the interior would make it difficult for students from 
the settlements to attend the institution; if it were 



176 LIBERIA. 

intended to meet the needs of natives, its removal 
would sound the death knell of its hopes ; it could be 
located in the area of a single tribe only, and located 
in such an area, it would receive the patronage of but 
a single tribe. Recognizing the fact that the natives 
are actually tribesmen, if schools of higher grade 
than primary village schools are to be developed, with 
reference to them, there should be at least one school 
of higher instruction in every tribal area; such 
schools should be of a grade corresponding to our 
secondary or grammar schools. It is unlikely that 
any one will, for many years, think of the establish- 
ment of such higher schools in numbers sufficient for 
each tribal area to have one ; while, theoretically the 
idea may be attractive, practically it is out of ques- 
tion. It would be entirely possible, however, for four 
good county schools of grammar grade to be estab- 
lished — one in each county; these should be in the 
country, not in the settlements. They should be open 
to both natives and Liberians, but it is to be supposed 
that their attendance would be largely, overwhelm- 
ingly indeed, native. These county schools should be 
thoroughly practical — they should combine book- 
work and manual-training; they should give instruc- 
tion in trades and agriculture. They should be as 
well equipped and as well managed as the resources 
of the Republic will allow. They should be thorough 
and earnest, and should not attempt to undertake 
more than the exact work here suggested; they 
should be secondary — grammar — schools, and a part 
of their aim should be to fully acquaint every student 
attending them with the work and opportunities of 
the Higher Agricultural School, outside Monrovia, 
aiid Liberia College at the capital. The teachers 
should not attempt to force large numbers of their 
students to look for higher education, but should 
make them thoroughly acquainted with the fact that 
opportunities may be found in the Republic for it; 
the very few students of real promise, who desire edu- 
cation of higher grade, the teachers should encourage 



PROBLEMS. 177 

and direct toward the Higher Agricultural School 
and Liberia College ; certainly the larger number of 
the boys should be directed toward the former — ^a 
select few of special promise in the direction of lead- 
ership, toward the latter. 

For the general uplift, there is no question that the 
most important element in this scheme of education 
must be the Higher Agricultural School. It should 
be situated upon an experimental farm ; it should be 
supplied with sufficient suitable buildings; it should 
combine literary and manual instruction. It should 
carry boys far enough to infuse them with ambition 
and vigor for an agricultural career. It should teach 
the methods demanded by the peculiar surroundings. 
Tropical agriculture in any country is still in its be- 
ginnings; scientific agriculture in Liberia is as yet 
non-existent; as rapidly as possible, the school 
should, through investigation and experiment, learn 
what is necessary for the locality. It will start with 
the benefit of blind experiments conducted through a 
period of almost a hundred years; it should, by 
twenty years of well-directed effort, work out the 
fundamental principles of successful agriculture. In 
such a school boys should be taught that hand labor 
is respectable and necessary; they should be taught 
equally how to plan, develop, and direct an enter- 
prise. Coffee was at one time an important article 
of shipment; Liberian coffee had an excellent repu- 
tation throughout the world and commanded good 
prices; there were many creditable plantations 
which brought in good returns to their proprietors. 
Why has Liberian coffee ceased to payt It is true 
that it has had to meet keen competition from coun- 
tries where labor was plenty and under good con- 
trol; it has had to meet in open market products 
which had been raised through subsidies paid by 
nations far wealthier; stiU, tiie chief reason why 
Liberian coffee no longer ha« the vogue which it 
once had is because it was badly handled, badly 
packed, and badly shipped. In the higher agricul- 

12. 



178 UBEBU. 

tural school one should be taught not only how to 
establish coffee plantations, but how to properly 
treat, prepare, and ship the produce. There was a 
time when many fields were planted with sugar-cane ; 
there were many little local mills where the cane was 
crushed and molasses and sugar made ; to-day it may 
be said that there is no cane industry in the Republic. 
Has the demand for sugar ceased f Has the soil lost 
the capacity of growing cane? Is not the decline in 
this industry due to time-losing, crude, and imper- 
fect methods of production? Liberia seems well 
adapted to various domestic animals. Goats and 
sheep — the latter covered with hair, not wool — ^are 
seen on the streets of the national capital ; when one 
gets back into the interior, cattle are found in native 
towns and in the district about Cape Palmas cattle 
are met with in the coast settlements. Yet fresh 
meat is diflScult to secure in Monrovia ; why T In the 
Higher Agricultural School definite investigation 
should be made of all native plant and animal possi- 
bilities; there are no doubt many forms of plant life 
which could be improved under proper cultivation 
and made to yield desirable materials for commerce 
or for national use ; it is quite possible that some of 
the native animals could be utilized if kept and bred ; 
it is certain that harmful animals can be controlled 
or totally destroyed. The experimental station in 
connection with the agricultural school should deal 
with all these matters. Of plants and animals which 
flourish in our own and other countries, some prosper 
and succeed on the west coast of Africa— others fail; 
many experiments have already been made in intro- 
ducing plants and animals from the outside world 
into Liberia ; much, however, still remains to be done 
in studying the possibilities. It is time that the 
experiments in this direction were wisely made by 
competent and educated investigators and that the 
period of blind and wasteful experimentation cease. 
Liberia College, however, should riemain at the 
capital city. It must be strengthened and developed. 



PROBLEMS. 179 

It should be a college, and if at present below grade — 
and it is below grade — ^it should be gradually worked 
up to a high standard. The nation will always need 
a higher institution of liberal culture; there is as 
much reason why there should be a genuine college 
in the black Republic, as there was why there should 
be a Harvard College in Massachusetts at the date 
of its foundation; in fact, there is more need of a 
college for Liberia than there was in Massachusetts 
for Harvard — ^Liberia has more serious and broader 
problems to deal with than the old colony of Massa- 
chusetts; she is an independent nation; she must 
have men competent by training to control the **ship 
of state'' and to deal with the representatives of all 
the civilized nations on the globe. 

One can easily understand, and to a degree sym- 
pathize with, the statement of Thomas in his little 
book upon West Africa, published a half century 
ago. He wrote shortly after the college was estab- 
lished. He says: **I regret to say that a college 
has been lately established in Liberia, the presidency 
of which has been conferred on President Roberts. 
I regret it, because it will involve an outlay that 
might be better used for common schools. It will 
send out, for years at least, men imperfectly learned, 
with the idea that they are scholars, and create a 
false standard of education. The present state of 
society has no demand for such a thing, the high 
schools already in operation being sufficient to supply 
teachers and professional men, and these are suffi- 
ciently patronized. A couple of manual labor schools 
somewhere in the interior would be vastly more use- 
ful. These things — ^academies dubbed colleges — are 
getting to be an evil among us in the states, and we 
are sorry to see our ebony off-shoot copying any of 
our defects.'* We are all familiar with such criti- 
cisms and this line of argument, and of course they 
contain a germ of truth. But every young and de- 
veloping community must have higher education, and 
we have indicated why the neceissity in Liberia is 



180 LIBERIA. 

urgent. From her population must come presidents, 
congressmen, cabinet oflScers of ability, diplomatic 
and political officials, and nothing below a college 
can produce the desirable supply. 

In contrast to the statement of Mr. Thomas, we 
may quote two passages from Dr. Blyden— r-himself a 
negro, a Liberian, an official in Liberia College. At 
the dedication of the Institution, he said: **Why, 
then, should not Liberia, after forty years' existence, 
having secured the confidence and respect of the 
aboriginal tribes, enjoy the means of superior educa- 
tion? The name College applied to this institution 
may seem ambitious; but it is not too early in our 
history to aim at such institutions. Of course we 
cannot expect that it will at once fulfill all the condi- 
tions of colleges in advanced countries, but it may 
come in time, as many American colleges have done, 
to grow into an institution of respectability and 
extensive usefulness.'' Again, in the same address, 
he says: ** Every country has its peculiar and par- 
ticular characteristics. So has Liberia. Prom this 
fact, it has often been argued, that we need a peculiar 
kind of education; not so much colleges and high 
schools as other means which are more immediately 
and obviously connected with our progress. But to 
this we reply, 'If we are a part of the human family, 
we have the same intellectual needs that other people 
have, and they must be supplied by the same means. ' 
It shows a painful ignorance of history, to consider 
the present state of things in Liberia as new and 
unprecedented in such a sense as to render dis- 
pensable those more important and fundamental 
means of improvement, which other countries have 
enjoyed. Mind is everywhere the same; and every- 
where it receives character and formation from the 
same elemental principles. If it has bejen properly 
formed and has received a substantial character, it 
will work out its own calling, solve its own problems, 
achieve its own destiny." 

In other words, it is the old question between Tus- 



PROBLEMS. 181 

kegee and Atlanta. In any broad and wise view both 
are equally essential. 

Liberia College and the Higher Agricultural School 
will do more to develop a national spirit among the 
natives of the interior than any other single agency. 
From the native village schools boys will go out to the 
county ** feeder"; there their ambition is stimulated; 
they come into contact with boys of other tribes; 
acquaintance and a generous and proper rivalry devel- 
ops between them; each boy will feel that the credit 
and reputation of his people rests in him — ^he will 
feel that he is not inferior — ^he will strive to hold his 
own in legitimate fields of rivalry; from the county 
** feeder*' the brightest, most ambitious, and best of 
the scholars will go up to the College or Agricultural 
School, both of which are national. There, in contact 
with the selected and best from every part of the 
Republic, from Liberians and natives alike, the native 
boys will come to know the national spirit; they will 
learn what Liberia means, they will comprehend its 
^plans and hopes; they will be prepared to assist in 
its development and to protect its rights. 

We have said that Liberia College would be 
national; it can not and ought not to be hampered 
by denominational or even by religious demands; it 
would be better if the College were absolutely under 
the control of the national government; the double 
control works badly. It is not absolutely essential 
that such should be the case ; if the American Board, 
or Boards, interested in it would wake up to the idea 
of the great opportunity within their hands, they 
would be willing to co-operate heartily with the local 
authorities to develop a really great institution. The 
diflSculty of distance of course would ever interfere 
with prompt and harmonious action; ignorance of 
local conditions and of the inherent diflSculties is 
another bar to effective and prompt co-operation. 
If the double control of the Institution is to continue, 
there should be a carefully worked out agreement 
between the two governing bodies which should leave 



182 LIBERIA. 

very considerable power with the resident authority 
to deal with serious problems as they may arise. If 
the double control must continue, it is cryingly neces- 
sary that more vigorous and liberal assistance should 
be rendered. To put the College into proper condi- 
tion, and develop its field of action, needs money, in 
considerable quantity, much more than the govern- 
ment would be warranted in supplying for some time 
to come. There are various things in connection with 
the conduct of the College which are bad and need 
re-adjustment. Thus, there is a vicious system of 
student assistance, which undoubtedly works more 
harm than benefit; attendance at the College is 
stimulated by cash payments to students, for which 
apparently no return service is rendered; any such 
moide of assistance should be completely stopped. It 
is better that the College should have a half dozen 
students who are attending because they wish to gain 
an education, than that its halls should be filled with 
idlers who come simply because they receive pay 
during their attendance. For every penny given to 
any student, actual service, preferably hand-labor, 
should be demanded. This is particularly important 
when we remember the general attitude towards the 
whole subject of working with the hands. 

The presidency of the College has always been, and 
still is, a problem. The president should not be an 
autocrat, beyond control and irresponsible, and he 
should be absolutely fitted for his high post. On 
account of the uncertain status of the institution, it 
is possible for its president to do what he pleases 
without check or hindrance. When it suits his own 
convenience, he takes refuge behind the fact that it 
is a chartered institution, responsible to a foreign 
board of managers to whom alone he owes allegiance ; 
he may thus refuse to recognize the Superintendent of 
Public Instruction and to conduct the financial affairs 
of the Institution as if he were without responsibility 
to the government from which, however, the school 
receives financial aid. Again, this high position has 



PROBLEMS. 183 

seemed, soihetimes in the past, to be merely a political 
football. When a man has served a term of office, 
when he has been defeated in an election, when for a 
moment he is without a job, he may become the presi- 
dent of Liberia College. This is all wrong. That 
presidency should be a position demanding a man's 
full time, and filling his whole horizon; it should be 
a position to which he willingly devotes a lifetime, 
and through which he may justly hope to gain a last- 
ing reputation. It is true that great names in 
Liberia's history have been associated with it; Rob- 
erts, Gibson, Blyden, Barclay, Dossen, and others 
have occupied it with credit to themselves, and no 
doubt with advantage to the school ; but the position 
should be a position for men without other ambitions, 
men not in politics. Perhaps it is necessary at this 
stage to import a head for the institution? If so, it 
is not for lack of competent Liberians already in the 
Republic — but because there is no competent man 
there but what has other ambitions. 

Here we believe is an actual opportunity for wise 
American philanthropy to exercise itself. Vast gifts 
of money could be properly employed in these two 
institutions of higher learning — the Higher Agricul- 
tural School and Liberia College. The one will have 
to be founded and developed from foundation up; 
the other needs development, re-organization, and 
continuous and wisely exercised interest and sym- 
pathy. Suitable but flexible restrictions should justly 
be imposed in connection with any gift, but the future 
ought not to be bound too tightly. The absolutely 
different character of the two institutions should be 
recognized and emphasized. If both were energized 
with gifts from our country, it would be just that 
both should be headed by American presidents. If 
so, Tuskegee might supply the president for the 
Higher Agricultural School, Atlanta that for Liberia 
College. In any event, only the best men that the 
institutions could furnish should be sent ; they should 
be men of ideals, ideas, and devotion ; they should be 



184 UBERU. 

teachable men, who would recognize that mnch of 
good already exists in the Republic, and who would 
aim to utilize everything helpful and hopeful which 
is already there; they should be men who will co- 
operate, rather than men who will eradicate; they 
must be wise men; theirs will be no easy task; and 
they should realize that it is frequently best to **make 
haste slowly" — ^if only progress is made surely. 



''I am an African, and in this country, however unexcep- 
tional mj conduct, and respectable my character, I can not 
receive the credit due to either. I wish to go to a country 
where I should be estimated by my merit, not by my complexion, 
and I feel bound to labor for my suffering race. ' ' — ^Lott Caret. 

''There never has been an hour or a minute; no, not even 
when the balls were flying around my head at Crown Hill, 
when I could wish myself in America." — ^Lott Caeet. 

IMMIGRATION. 

The original settlers in Liberia were for the most 
part aided in their immigration by the American 
Colonization Society. The whole business of ship- 
ment, transportation, and reception soon became quite 
thoroughly systematized. Those who had funds of 
their own made use of these in getting to the **Land 
of Promise*' and settling; but many were quite with- 
out resources. Such were sent out passage free 
by the Society; on arriving at Liberia, they were 
transferred to ** receptacles" — chouses especially con- 
structed for the purpose, — ^where, for six months, 
they were provided with board and medical attend- 
ance. During these six months the immigrants 
usually passed through the acclimating fever, and 
were sufficiently restored to begin the serious task of 
establishing themselves in their new homes. To each 
adult person a piece of land was given, either in the 
town or country ; the Society had already supplied an 
outfit for farming and housekeeping purposes. With 
land assigned and outfit ready, the newcomer pro- 
ceeded to adjust himself as well as posible to his new 
surroundings. In the very nature of things, many of 
the early settlers were undesirables; it is true that 
much was made of the care with which they were 
selected before they were shipped to Africa; such 
claims, however, deserve little more belief than 

185 



186 LIBERIA. 

might have been expected under the circumstances. 
It was not strange that many weak, undesirable, even 
vicious, individuals were sent ; the remarkable fact is 
that the mass was as good as it actually was. While 
much allowance must be made for partisanship, and 
the desire to make a good showing, there is remark- 
able uniformity in the reports concerning the decency, 
neatness, and progressive character of the settlers. 
Among the newcomers there were indeed a number 
of exceptional men, men who, in any time or place, 
would be recognized as superior; they were men of 
ability who, in the old home, had felt themselves 
subject to the most unjust discrimination; they had 
chafed under the disadvantages and inequality of 
their situations; they felt that in Liberia there was 
indeed a chance for black men. Such were Lott 
Carey, Elijah Johnson, Hilary Teague, Amos Her- 
ring, and others. The new colony owed much to the 
presence of a few such men. It has always been so, 
it will always be so ; there is no community where the 
number of leaders is large; there is no community 
where the rank and file are honest, respectable, 
ambitious, and progressive. It is unreasonable to 
expect in Liberia what we could not find in any 
civilized land of white men. An interesting fact 
regarding Liberia is that the supply of leaders has 
never failed. The ** fathers'' died; the sons have fol- 
lowed; the first settlers have gone to their reward; 
new settlers with the qualifications of leadership 
have always come. When the colony gave place to 
the Republic, it had leaders like Roberts, Hilary 
Johnson, and Stephen A. Benson. To-day there are, 
all things considered, a remarkable number of men of 
ability; the little land with Arthur Barclay, Daniel 
B. Howard, J. J. Dossen, F. E. R. Johnson, T. 
McCants Stewart, Bishop Ferguson, — and plenty 
more — is not badly equipped for grappling with 
national problems. 

In the early days every one had to suffer the 
acclimating fever; many ^ed. Such, however, has 



PROBLEMS. 187 

been the experience in the settlement of all new 
countries, even outside the tropics. Our own pilgrim 
fathers lost severely in taking possession of New 
England; mastery of the Mississippi Valley was 
achieved only at a frightful loss in \it%; to the out- 
sider, who only reads the death list, Liberian settle- 
ment seems horrible; but, to the one who knows the 
price eternally paid for colonization, it appears less 
bad. After passing through the fever, and settling 
down to work, the question of success was one for each 
man to settle for himself. The two opportunities 
were trade and agriculture. We have seen repeatedly 
that, on the whole, trade had the greater attractive- 
ness. Still, numbers went to farming and the devel- 
opment of plantations. Opportunity was really large 
and success was not infrequent. The number of early 
settlers who promptly secured comfort, and even 
modest wealth, was great. 

If there is to be immigration on any considerable 
scale, there must be easy communication between the 
United States and Liberia. The original settlers were 
sent when opportunity offered; sometimes in private 
sailing vessels, sometimes in government ships. There 
has been very little direct sailing between the two 
countries since our Civil War. For a long time it 
was necessary for passengers who desired to go from 
the United States to Liberia, to go first to Liverpool, 
Hamburg, Rotterdam, or Aiitwerp, and from there 
to take a steamer for the West Coast; such an 
arrangement of course involved considerable expense 
and much loss of time. There have been efforts at 
various times to establish direct lines of communica- 
tion. Thus, in 1838, Judge Wilkinson submitted a 
project. He recommended that a vessel should be 
purchased and sold to such free persons of color as 
would agree to man her with colored seamen, and 
navigate her as a regular packet between Liberia and 
the United States. Regular passenger rates would be 
paid to the conductors of this enterprise for the con- 
veyance of emigrants sent out by the Society. The 



188 LIBERIA. 

plan was approved and the money promptly raised; 
$3000 was subscribed by the New York Colonization 
Society, $1000 by the New Jersey Colonization Soci- 
ety, and $400 by individuals. Judge Wilkinson, at 
once, on his •wn responsibility, purchased the Saluda 
for $6000; she was a vessel of 384 tons; a fast sailer; 
in good order; she had passenger accommodations 
for 150 persons. 

A few years later, in 1846, a joint^stock trading 
company was established by the Maryland Coloniza- 
tion Society under the name of the Chesapeake and 
Liberian Trading Co. It was to maintain a line of 
packets for taking out emigrants and bringing in 
produce; it was expected that the colonists woidd 
invest in the shares; $20,000 was considered neces- 
sary for the enterprise, and there was considerable 
difl&culty in raising it, only $16,000 having been sub- 
scribed when the first vessel was completed and ready 
for sailing. The first voyage took place in the month 
of December. The Liberian PcLcket, as it was called^ 
made many voyages. It was found necessary to 
increase the size of the vessel employed, but the whole 
enterprise received a severe check with the wreck 
of the Ralph Cross. It was in several respects a real 
success, but there was considerable disappointment 
felt because of the little interest taken in this line by 
the colonists themselves; it was hoped that the bulk 
of the stock would be taken by them — as a matter of 
fact, only about one-eighth was so purchased. Com- 
modore Foote, in his interesting book, Africa and the 
American Flag, emphasizes the fact that the one great 
advantage resulting from this line was the ease with 
which Liberian settlers revisited the United States for 
short periods, thus forming and keeping up connec- 
tions with their mother country. 

When Thomas was along the West Coast in 1857, 
direct communication appears to have ceased. He 
says: '*The day is not distant when steam communi- 
cation will be established between the United States 
and Liberia, and her exhaustless fields be brought 



PROBLEMS. 189 

within fourteen days of our shores. Already the 
interests of American commerce demand the estab- 
lishment of such a line, and the general government 
should extend its aid in such an enterprise, before 
England and France take the field from us. Already 
the steam-liners between England and Fernjando Po 
touch at Monrovia, and it is said that arrangements 
are being made with the company to have them stop 
at Cape Palmas also. Of the 125,000 gallons of palm 
oil annually exported from this place, American pro- 
ducers get 50,000. The other exports are pepper and 
camwood. The revenue of Maryland, the year pre- 
vious to its annexation to Liberia, was about $2000, 
derived from a light duty on certain classes of 
imports." In 1850 an effort was made in the Ameri- 
can Congress to establish and develop a trading line 
between the two countries. Since that time there 
have been occasional suggestions looking in this direc- 
tion; thus, in 1904 a company was established under 
the name of the New York and Liberian Steamship 
Co. with a capital stock of $50,000 ; at about the same 
time, there was organized the American and West 
African Steamship Co. with head-quarters at New 
York, a capital of $600,000, and the apparent endorse- 
ment of many of the most prominent colored men 
of the United States. Many such schemes have been 
broached, some with brilliant promise; for one rea- 
son or another, however, they have failed. There is 
no question that such a company under conservative 
management might make a success; the difficulty so 
far with most of them has been that they have started 
with too high hopes of large, immediate returns and 
with insufficient capital. In the long run, good 
returns might be expected ; but there should be antici- 
pated a considerable period during which there would 
be little, if any, income. Very recently an experi- 
mental arrangement has been made by the two great 
steamship-lines of West Africa to connect New York 
with Monrovia. At present a vessel sails once every 
two months from New York for the west coast of 



190 LIBERIA. 

Africa. The first stop is at Las Palmas, Canary 
Islands; the second, Monrovia; the time from New 
York to Monrovia is nineteen days; the vessel then 
proceeds south along the western coast of Africa, 
returning to Monrovia at the end of about nine 
weeks; on the return the only point of call is St. 
Vincent in the Cape Verde Islands. The return voy- 
age occupies eighteen or nineteen days. The vessels 
making these runs are alternately Gterman and Eng- 
lish, of the Woermann and the Elder Dempster Lines. 

This arrangement is the best that has been offered 
for many years. It is relatively easy by means of it 
for Americans to visit Liberia, and for Liberians 
to see our country. It is to be hoped that the 
arrangement will be continued — or even improved; 
if there is anything in this trade at all, it should not 
be long before sailings will take place monthly 
instead of one in two months. 

Does Liberia wish immigration from America? 
Liberians say so, but they usually qualify the state- 
ment by saying that it should be "of the right kind''. 
They assert that they will welcome thousands. Presi- 
dential messages, congressional action, local resolu- 
tions, all express one sentiment; they want Ameri- 
cans, they will welcome them, they will give them 
every opportunity. This is no doubt true theoretic- 
ally and in the abstract. As a matter of fact, bow- 
ever, they do not really want American settlers. 
There are many reasons for this attitude, and all are 
natural. The new-comer from America is apt to be 
supercilious and condescending:; he is critical and 
makes odious comparisons : he knows little of the his- 
tory of the country, has no sympathy with its 
achievements, sees only its crudities and errors. He 
is full of errand schemes for his own advancement; 
he is in Liberia for exploitation ; a man of some little 
prominence in his home community with us, he 
expects to be a leader in the new surroundings; he 
wishes to be a new broom, sweeping clean. He would 
brush away all that already exists, and construct a 



PROBLEMS. 191 

totally new edifice; but when one brushes away what 
already exists, the task before him is worse than that 
of ** making bricks without straw". It is no wonder 
that the new-comer is promptly looked upon with 
dislike. 

Again, there are not many paying '*jobs"; those 
that exist are already occupied by native sons and 
old settlers; the coming of a considerable number of 
new immigrants will not increase the number of these 
'* jobs'' in proportion to the influx of population. 
The new-comers will crowd those who are already 
located ; lack of opportunity, scantness of educational 
facilities, inability to secure a proper preparation — 
all things which are in the nature of Liberian con- 
ditions and for which the individual can not be held 
responsible, — give to those already in possession a 
sense of inferiority and unpreparedness which makes 
them fear the coming of the outsider who has had a 
wider training. Whatever they may say to the con- 
trary, however much they may express the desire that 
highly trained and competent Americans should come 
to the aid of the Republic, the whole oflScial and gov- 
erning body will look with natural suspicion and 
jealousy upon intruders. 

It is commonplace to be told by Liberians that there 
is plenty of work in the Republic for carpenters, 
masons, blacksmiths, and wheelwrights. This is said 
so readily that it sounds like a recitation learned for 
repetition. That there may be room for carpenters 
and masons is probable; but the need of blacksmiths 
in a country where there are no real vehicles or horses 
is less evident ; and exactly what a wheelwright would 
do to fill his time is questionable. There are at 
present in Liberia almost no manufactories; it will 
surely be some time before there is need of such. 
There are in Liberia no opportunities for day labor 
for American negroes; the ''bush nigger'' is there 
and will work for wages which no American colored 
man could think of receiving if he were able to work 
at such labor in that country. It has been suggested 



192 LIBERU. 

to me that thousands of American ne^oes might be 
employed in road-building; there is indeed much 
need for roads ; but the work of road-building is likely 
to continue to fall to the native. Newcomers are 
almost certain to go into professional life, politics, 
trade, or agriculture. Professional life and politics 
are already fairly full — trade and agriculture remain 
as legitimate opportunities for the newcomer. The 
American negro who comes to Liberia for trade must 
have capital, and he must realize that he enters into 
competition with old established white trading houses 
as well as with experienced Liberians who faiow the 
country and its needs. If the newcomer goes into 
agriculture, he must expect to make some outlay in 
securing land, constructing buildings, buying out- 
fits; curiously enough, even in this field, where it 
might be supposed that he would meet with little, if 
any, opposition, he is quite sure to encounter hostility 
from neighbors. Into whatever field of legitimate 
enterprise the American immigrant may plan to 
enter, he should not come to Africa unless he is 
healthy of body, young, of active mind, fairly edu- 
cated, and with money for tiding over a period of 
non-productiveness and opposition more or less frank 
and open. 

Yet many succeed. Conspicuous examples are not 
wanting. Three recent cases may be considered 
typical. There is J. H. Green, who came to Liberia 
from Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1902; a lawyer by 
trade, he had been interested while still in the United 
States in the promotion of Liberian immigration; he 
carried with him into the new region his paper. The 
African League, which is a monthly periodical 
largely devoted to the encouragement of Liberian 
immigration. At first in Monrovia, since then at 
Buchanan, he has continued to print his paper which 
has the longest continued existence of any genuine 
newspaper that has been printed in Liberia for many 
years; he has encountered constant opposition; he is 
a fighter from way back and has the courage of his 



;!' PROBLEMS. 193 

t^onvictions. He has made good. He piractices law, 
has been a local judge, conducts a successful, influ- 
ential, and outspoken paper, has his printing-house, 
and conducts a shop for trade. Judge T. JSilcCants 
Stewart is justly respected as one of the leading 
men of the Republic. He first went to Liberia thirty 
years ago, in connection with Liberia College; he 
stayed but a short time, returning to the United 
States; while in this country, he published an inter- 
esting and useful little book upon Liberia; later he 
went to Honolulu, Hawaii; returning to America 
from our newest territory, he closed out his affairs 
in this land and went again to Liberia; as a new- 
comer, he necessarily had prejudice and opposition to 
encounter; he has rooted there, however, and, 
respected and influential, is now one of the associate 
justices of the Supreme Court. One of the most 
interesting men in Liberia to-day is Jeff Faulkner; 
he is active, enterprising, pushing, indefatigable; he 
is the only handy, all-around mechanician in Mon- 
rovia; he is absolutely one of the most useful men in 
the Republic; he is depended upon by the govern- 
ment in many a time of need; when "the Lark" 
goes to the bottom, Jeff Faulkner is the only man to 
raise her ; he has a keen eye for business, and devel- 
ops every opportunity; he has recently established 
an ice-factory, and his ice-cream parlor — a novelty 
in Liberia's capital — ^is popular. This very useful 
man, though well appreciated, has literally had to 
fight his way to success. These men are well estab- 
lished, but they have succeeded only because they 
were men of ideas, conviction, purpose, determina- 
tion. Weak men in their positions would have failed. 
Liberia is no place for weaklings ; there is no demand 
for immigrants who leave America because they have 
been failures there. 

For years Green has been agitating for ''the negro 
city''. In the African League, in 1903, he carried a 
page announcement regarding it. From it we quote 
some extracts: *'Thb negbo city to be built in 

13. 



194 LIBERIA. 

LiBEBiA^ Africa, by 1000 American negroes. 
Liberia Citt will be the name. Foundation to be 
laid upon the arrival of the great colony early in 
1904. Let all be ready and fully prepared for the 
great corner-stone laying of a great negro town in a 
HIGH AND healthy PLACE. Stoucs wautcd for the 
foundation. What kind of stones t Stones in the 
form of men! Self-sacrificing, vtgorous, fearless, 
strong-hearted, self-supporting, brainy, brawny, 
God-fearing men ? Men fitted for the subnstratum of 
the great town in the great country where lynching is 
not known, and freedom reigns supreme! Where 
your son may be a beggar or a ruler — at his own 
election. Come and make him a ruler. ... A 
city built in a day. The foundation of this new 
settlement with the town as the centre, will be laid 
upon the arrival of the colonists from America upon 
the ground. ... A high and beautiful location, 
too high for the coast fever that is so much dreaded 
by the one who has heard about it — a location for 
work in a country where gold and other precious 
metals abound. . . . This place is especially in- 
viting to the mining negro. The artisans are needed, 
too, along with the farmers and other workmen, for 
all these are needed in building up a great republic ; 
only let them bring some capital. This is a great 
place for merchants. . . . Let all who want to 
join this colony and want a town lot and a farm in 
the section, free of charge, write." So far the great 
negro settlement does not actually exist. The idea 
has been often ridiculed; but it deserves considera^ 
tion. At the time in question, Mr. Green made an 
extended journey in which he claimed to be looking 
for the best site for his settlement. Such a city, with 
anywhere from three hundred to one thousand 
inhabitants, would promise a more speedy and 
durable success than the trickling in of the same 
number of immigrants as individuals. There is 
strength in numbers; a common interest would bind 
the newcomers to each other; if they really repre- 



PROBLEMS. 195 

sented a variety of trades and industries, the com- 
munity might be sufficient to itself; individual 
jealousies of old settlers would be reduced to a mini- 
mum of harmfulness. There would naturally be, 
in case such a settlement were established, strong 
jealousy between it as a whole and longer established 
communities. Such has always been the case in 
Liberian history. There has always been feeling 
between Monrovia, Grand Bassa, Greenville, and 
Maryland. Such jealousies are natural and unavoid- 
able. The only way in which they can be reduced 
is by the establishment of so many communities that 
the distance between them would be small ; close con- 
tact would develop at least a fair degree of harmony. 
There are prominent negroes in our own country 
who have urged an exodus of black men from the 
United States. The difficulties of transporting our 
millions of black men, women, and children to -Africa, 
if they care to go, are so great as to render the 
scheme actually impracticable. Nor is the difficulty 
of transportation the only one. The limited range of 
promising occupations makes it unlikely that great 
numbers will ever go thither; more than that, 
pronounced success in the United States, — and 
pronounced success to-day is by no means rare among 
our colored population, — ^will hold the majority of 
colored people in this country. There is, however, 
room in Liberia for many thousands of settlers and 
opportunity for those among them who have no fool- 
ish notions and who possess the qualities which Green 
demands from those whom he invites to come. Bishop 
Turner and Dr. Heard urge migration on the largest 
possible scale ; Dr. Ernest Lyon who, at the time when 
the excitement in regard to Liberia City was at its 
height, represented our government as minister to 
Liberia, discourages ''indiscriminate immigration *». 
His report sent late in 1903 to Secretary Hay, of our 
Department of State, was a dash to the high hopes 
of the encouragers of immigration. His letter was 
called out by the prox)06ed large emigration from the 



196 LIBERIA, 

United States in 1904. He says: **From my knowl- 
edge of the conditions of affairs here, I beg to inform 
you that Liberia is not prepared for indiscriminate 
immigration in 1904. If immigrants come here who 
are unable to support themselves for at least six 
months, they will die from starvation and the rigor 
of the African climate — there are no houses here, 
even of a temporary construction, to protect them 
until they can build for themselves.'' As might be 
expected, this report of the resident Minister called 
forth a vigorous reply from Mr. Green. He closes his 
answer with an actually able burst of feeling. He 
says: **As to indiscriminate immigration, it was that 
that planted the colony of Liberia; it was indiscrim- 
inate immigration which gave birth to a Republic to 
which the Rev. Dr. Lyon might be accredited United 
States Minister; it was this immigration scheme 
that gave us a President Roberts, a Benson, a 
Gardner, a Coleman. It reinforced, succored, per- 
petuated the Republic in its infancy. It was indis- 
criminate immigration which gave Liberia the grave 
and distinguished statesman. His Excellency, Presi- 
dent A. Barclay, our present and honored incumbent. 
Yes, and more than that, even America is a child of 
indiscriminate immigration which yet constitutes the 
greatest increase of American humanity. It made 
America great. May it not make Liberia great?'' 
Thousands of American black men might no doubt 
move to Liberia with advantage and profit to them- 
selves and to their adopted country. The Republic 
offers a rich field. But it needs no idlers, no paupers, 
no criminals. No one should go without having clear 
ideas as to his plans; the questions of *' receptacle", 
location, temporary support, must be looked into and 
provided for. And the newcomer who is to be suc- 
cessful must be forceful, self-reliant, and ready to 
meet with temporary prejudice. While the condi- 
tions of many blacks might be improved by removal 
to Liberia, the black population in this country would 
be advantaged by the elimination; if a considerable 



PROBLEMS. 197 

number of emigrants were to go to Liberia, pressure 
here would be relieved and conditions would be 
improved. 

There will of course be a constant trickling of new- 
comers from this country to Liberia; there may very 
well be a constant stream. Such a stream indeed is 
necessary, if the vigor and vitality of Liberia is to be 
maintained; new blood is desirable — ^whether wel- 
come or not. Know-nothing-ism is not confined to 
Liberia or to any one place. In the United States we 
have a condition which is comparable to that which 
Liberia presents. Here, too, the old population is 
barely holding its own, if it is doing so; the old 
families of New England and the eastern seaboard 
have largely run to seed; it is absolutely necessary 
that a great and steady immigration of European 
whites pour in to maintain our life by the infusion of 
new blood. Such immigration of course is not wel- 
comed by our *'true Americans". If rigid exclusion 
could be practiced, we should soon face a condition 
much like that of France. If we are to live and 
occupy a significant place among the nations of the 
world, we must accept this constant incoming of 
population from outside. The mixture of these new- 
comers with our own people, fagged and worn out by 
new and unfavorable conditions, produces a new stock 
with sufficient vigor to carry on our national devel- 
opment. The hope of Liberia lies largely in a con- 
siderable immigration of black people from our south- 
ern states. 

One of the most serious dangers of Liberia lies in 
its isolation; it needs contact; everything that tends 
toward an increase of contact with the outside world 
is good. Liberia needs ideas, friends, interchange; 
otherwise stagnation is inevitable — and death. She 
must receive these aids either from Europe or from 
America; she will of course receive them from both; 
but the source of the greater part of her inspiration 
and ideals must be on this side of the Atlantic and 



198 LIBERIA. 

from our people of color. Immigration from America, 
whether small or great, must necessarily be helpful. 
If great and constant, difficulties will be lightened 
and helpful bonds strengthened. 



If the temporary management in the hands of others of a 
part of our governmental machinery will result in actual and 
permanent independence and international respect, which I 
firmly believe wUl be the outcome, then it becomes our impera- 
tive duty as patriotic citizens to make such a necessary and 
noble sacrifice. — ^Daniel E. Howard. 

THE FOREIGN DEBT OF THE REPUBLIC. 

THE LOAN OF 1870. 

On January 26, 1870, the Legislature authorized 
President Edward J. Roye to negotiate a loan not 
exceeding £100,000, at not more than 7 per cent inter- 
est; the bonds were to run for fifteen years, and 
three years' interest advanced might be deducted 
Of the sum to be received upon this loan £20,000 was 
to be used in buying up all the checks, scripts, cur* 
rency debentures, and government paper of what- 
ever kind then afloat ; £20,000 more was to be depos- 
ited securely as a basis for the issue of a paper 
currency in what were to be known as Treasury 
Notes; the balance of the proceeds of the loan was to 
be deposited in some reliable bank as an emergency 
fund to be drawn upon at need by special act of the 
Legislature. 

At the time when this action of the Legislature 
was taken. President Roye was about to go to Eng- 
land; it was supposed that he would attend to the 
business while in London, and that considerable 
expense would be saved to the nation by his personal 
attention to the details of the arrangement ; for some 
reason or other, he did not take up the matter while 
he was absent. On his return to Monrovia, however, 
he proceeded to secure the loan. He appointed David 
Chinery, at that time consul for Liberia in London, 
Henry V. Johnson, Sr., and W. S. Anderson, com- 

199 



200 LIBERIA. 

missioners — the two latter being sent to London for 
the purpose — to negotiate the loan. President Boye 
should of course have submitted this whole matter to 
the Legislature; there was considerable objection to 
the loan, and no serious steps should have been taken 
regarding it without the authorization of the legis- 
lative body. The commissioners succeeded in negoti- 
ating the loan for £100,000 at 7 per cent interest, at 
30 per cent below par; three years' interest were 
deducted from the £70,000, leaving a balance of 
£49,000 to be placed to the credit of the commis- 
sioners. **Then followed," to quote the words of 
President Eoberts, * * a system of charges, speculations, 
and frauds unparalleled, I presume, in any public 
loan transactions of modem times.'' No sooner had 
the news of the negotiation reached President Eoye, 
than he commenced to draw against it for himself 
and others, not waiting for any part of it to be paid 
into the treasury of the Eepublic for the purposes 
specified in the act, and before the Legislature had 
accepted the loan or taken any action in regard to it. 
More than that, without legislative authority, he sent 
an order drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury — 
a member of his own family — ^approved by himself 
for £10,000 value of merchandise, alleging that this 
was on acount of the government. Mr. Chinery, in 
filling this order, sent merchandise invoiced at more 
than £14,000, including transportation, shipping- 
charges, freight, insurance, etc., most of the articles 
being charged at amounts in excess of their market 
value, many of them inferior in quality, and some 
nearly, and others entirely, useless in Liberia. How 
much was actually realized of this loan no one knows ; 
Sir Harry Johnston says £27,000; Ferguson (from 
whom we draw most of the particulars regarding this 
transaction) says £17,903. In return for it, at least 
£80,000 in bonds were issued — Sir Harry Johnston 
says perhaps the whole £100,000. 

The moment was one of political disturbance. In 
1869 there had been an eflfoi^t to amend the consti- 



PROBLEMS. 201 

tution so as to extend the office of President from a 
term of two years to one of four; the effort failed. 
In May, 1871, when his two years had elapsed, Eoye 
attempted to continue himself in power for two years 
longer ; a shadow of an excuse for this usurpation was 
found in this attempted passing of an amendment. 
This bold coup, together with the dissatisfaction 
regarding the loan, led to his being hurled from 
power. Notice of the disturbed condition of the 
Republic was at once sent to the representative of 
Liberia in London, and to the bondholders ; the newly 
established government ordered all drafts, etc., for 
money received on acount of the loan to be stopped, 
countermanded the orders for goods, and demanded a 
statu quo until the Legislature should have a chance 
to act; legal proceedings were taken against Commis- 
sioners Johnson and Anderson; Chinery was dis- 
charged from his office as Liberian Consul in London ; 
Mr. John Jackson was appointed Consul-General in 
hii^ place and took charge of matters. So palpable 
was the mismanagement of this whole transaction in 
London, and so extravagant had been the charges 
and other outlays connected with it, that Consul 
Jackson took legal proceedings to protect the interests 
of the Republic. 

Through a period of almost thirty years, the mat- 
ter of this loan was constantly agitated, and it was 
only in 1898 that the Liberian Consul, Henry Hay- 
man, was able to bring about a final arrangement of 
the unhappy affair. At that time the Liberian Gov- 
ernment recognized its responsibility to the amount 
of £80,000 ; it agreed to begin payment at once upon 
the bonds — spaying interest at the rate of 3 per cent 
the first three years, 4 per cent for the following 
three years, and 5 per cent thereafter until both the 
principal and interest be fully paid; after that, the 
back interests would be assumed at 5 per cent. Since 
this adjustment, the Liberian Government has regu- 
larly and honorably met its interest payments. Sir 
Harry Johnston, in his great work on Liberia, speaks 



202 LIBERIA. 

vigorously and frankly regarding this loan of 
1870, which was a disgracefiU operation for British 
financiers. 

THE LOAN OF 1906. 

It is curious that, in connection with the next 
financial undertaking of the Republic, which was 
little, if any, more satisfactory than the loan of 1870, 
Sir Harry himself should have played a significant 
part. When President Barclay and his companions 
were in London in 1906, they made arrangements for 
a new loan, also of £100,000. An interview was held 
at the office of Consul-Oeneral Hayman, at which 
were present Sir Harry H. Johnston, chairman of 
the Liberian Development Co., Limited, together 
with some of this company's officers, Mr. Clark of the 
Foreign Office, Emil Erlanger, and Consul Hayman. 
Mr. Erlanger represented the brokers through whom 
the Liberian Development Co. were to secure a loan 
of £100,000 for the benefit of Liberia. Excellent 
discussions of this loan by Mr. Ellis, who was so long 
connected with our Legation at Monrovia, and Mr. 
Scott, who was a member of the United States Com- 
mission in 1909, have been printed. It is from these 
articles that we draw our details. 

The proceeds of the loan of 1906 were to be applied 
in the following manner: (a) $25,000 was to be used 
for pressing Liberian obligations; (b) $125,000 Was to 
be employed in the payment of domestic debts; (c) 
$35,000 was to be loaned to the Liberian Develop- 
ment Co.; (d) the balance was to be devoted to the 
development of banking, and for road schemes by 
the Liberian Development Co. in Liberia. As secur- 
ity for this loan, two British officials, as chief and 
assistant inspectors of customs, were to have charge 
of the Liberian customs revenue ; the chief inspector 
was to act also as financial adviser to the Republic; 
$30,000 annually (in semi-annual payments) was to 
be turned in as interest until the whole loan was re- 
paid; 10 per cent of any excess over $250,000 in 



PROBLEMS. 203 

customs revenue per year was to be received by the 
Liberian Development Co. The ** company was 
charged with the responsibility of returning the loan 
to Erlanger and Co. by the payment of 50 per cent of 
the net profits derived from the exercise of the powers 
and privileges of the charter of the former company, 
together with profits from the banking and road 
schemes to be undertaken in Liberia." 

The loan was actually applied as follows: (a) to 
the extinguishment of domestic debts, £30,000; (b) 
loaned to the Liberian Development Co., £7000; (c) 
in carrying out road schemes, £32,776.11.3; (d) ob- 
tained by Liberia on ratification of tripartite agree- 
ment of 1908, £30,223.8.9 ; total, £100,000. 

Friction soon arose in the administration of the 
customs. The Liberian Development Co. constructed 
fifteen miles of automobile road in the Careysberg 
District, bought a small steam launch for the St. 
Paul's River, and purchased two automobiles; it 
then announced that its road fund was completely 
exhausted, after having spent, on an ordinary dirt 
road, about $163,882. Liberian dissatisfaction was 
great, and question was raised regarding the ''bal- 
ance of the £70,000 which had been entrusted with- 
out security to the management of the company." 
In the investigation which followed in an attempt to 
rearrange affairs, considerable feeling appears to have 
been shown. Sir Harry Johnston had repeatedly 
ignored the requests of President Barclay for an 
accounting by his company ; in the interview in which 
efforts at adjustment were made, he is said to have 
conducted himself in a supercilious manner and to 
have expressed his surprise *'that the President 
should have required the company to furnish him 
with a statement of accounts, and disclaimed any 
responsibility for the manner in which the money 
had been expended". Under the tripartite arrange- 
ment which was entered into between the Govern- 
ment of Liberia, Erlanger and Co., and the Liberian 
Development Co., Chartered and Limited, it was 



204 LIBERIA. 

finally arranged that *' Liberia assume direct respon- 
sibility to Messrs. !Eirlanger and Co. for the loan of 
1906, and, aside from obtaining some advantages in 
the new Agreement, secured from the Liberian Devel- 
opment Co. the residue of the loan, amounting to 
£30,223.8.9, and practically dispensed with the future 
services of this company in the solution of the new 
Liberian problems.'' 

Mr. Emmett Scott makes some pertinent observa- 
tions in connection with this affair. He says: *'Sir 
Harry Johnston, in his book, quite spiritedly criti- 
cizes the agreements under the loan of 1871. It is 
hard to determine, however, how less one-sided they 
were than those of his own benevolent corporation, 
even if his company had in perfect good faith carried 
out their part of the bargain. The suggestion that 
the customs should be collected by European experts. 
Englishmen being understood, introduced, of course, 
the feature of external control into the customs serv- 
ice .. . of the so-called experts sent to Liberia 
under the agreement, the first one's selection was, to 
say the least, unfortunate. He all but confessed his 
utter failure after two or three months to understand 
what he was about, although he had been granted a 
salary of about $3500 a year, much more than he had 
received in the British service in Sierra Leone. The 
second one appointed has developed into a somewhat 
capable official, although his chief claim to being 
called an expert was, it is said, that he had success- 
fully raised oranges in California. He was certainly 
no customs expert, and, I learn, had probably never 
been inside of a customs house. He received £500 a 
year. The present chief inspector of customs is a 
wholly efficient man, but while doing similar service 
at Freetown, Sierra Leone, the neighboring country, 
he received a salary of £300 or $1500 a year, while 
the Liberians are called upon to pay him a salary of 
£1000, or $5000 a year. This salary, perhaps I should 
state, is twice that received by the President of the 
Republic. Efforts to reduce this salary to £700 or 



PROBLEMS. 205 

$3500 have recently been made, but with what suc- 
cess I cannot chronicle." 

Again: **The company's high-handed manner of 
expending the money on hand, however, engendered 
so much bad blood, that at last President Barclay 
applied to Sir Harry Johnston, managing director of 
the Liberian Development Co., for an accounting. 
The latter, it is said, expressed the greatest surprise 
that such a demand should be made upon him, and 
disclaimed any and all responsibility to the Liberian 
Government for the way in which the money had been 
or was to be expended. He persistently refused to 
render any accounts until he found the position he 
maintained was so untenable that he could not 
depend upon his government for support; he also 
found that President Barclay was about to sever all 
relations with his company, maintaining, in the 
absence of any accounting, that the Government of 
Liberia would hold itself responsible only for the 
cash actually received. About $200,000 of the amount 
raised on the credit of the government, it is said, had 
been frittered away on badly managed schemes." 

And finally : **In dismissing this loan of 1906, may 
I say that no one now contends that the Liberian 
Development Co. has, or has had, any money aside 
from that raised on the Government's credit; to-day 
it is practically bankrupt. The relations between the 
Government and the Company have been severed, 
and under the agreement of 1908 with Messrs. 
Erlanger, London, the Liberian Government is 
responsible for the whole loan. 

THE AMERICAN LOAN. 

Conditions became desperate; there were now two 
obligations to British creditors, each for a handsome 
sum, and both drawing interest ; more than that, there 
had grown up a considerable domestic debt; real 
bankruptcy seemed to threaten the nation. As a 
result of the visit of the American Commission to 
Liberia in 1909, the United States used its good 



206 LIBERIA. 

oflSces in favor of the Republic, and arrangements 
were perfected whereby certain banking institutions 
of the United States, Germany, Prance, and Great 
Britain furnished the Republic of Liberia with a loan 
of $1,700,000; this loan was to be used in the pay- 
ment of its domestic and foreign debts. According to 
the official report of the Commission, the public debt 
of Liberia in 1909 amounted to the sum of $1,289,- 
570.60. Mr. George W Ellis has prepared an excel- 
lent paper regarding this loan, and from it we 
abbreviate our own statement. In order to secure 
the loan, the Liberian customs revenues are tem- 
porarily to be placed in charge of a customs receiver- 
ship, with a general receiver appointed from the 
United States by the President, and holding office 
during his pleasure, and three receivers, one each 
from Great Britain, Germany, and France, appointed 
by, and holding office during the pleasure of, their 
respective governments. As further security for the 
loan, the revenues from exjwrts and imports, duties 
on rubber, and all head moneys are pledged. Five 
per cent gold bonds in denominations of $1000, $500, 
and $100, for a period of forty years, interest and 
principal payable in New York, are to be issued by the 
Liberian Government. The Liberian revenues sub- 
ject to the loan are transferred for its service and 
are termed "assigned revenues"; these assigned rev- 
enues are in charge of the receivership. The majority 
of the receivers have the power to suspend customs 
officials, make temporary appointments, make rules 
and regulations relative to the assigned revenues; 
they have a right to adequate patrol for land and sea, 
and in case such is not furnished, to supply it them- 
selves. The general receiver has a salary of $5000, 
the others, $2500. A monthly report of accounts is to 
be rendered to the government. As a condition of the 
loan, the frontier police force is to be maintained; 
the President of the United States is to assign train- 
ing officers, to be paid from the assigned revenues. 
The General Receiver is also the Financial Adviser of 



PROBLEMS. 207 

the Liberian Government; he is to systematize the 
finances of Liberia ; and to approve statements before 
submission to the legislature. Appropriations must 
not overrun the revenues; after the legislature ad- 
journs, the President, Secretary of the Treasury, and 
the Financial Adviser must revise the appropriations 
if they have overrun ; their act is binding to the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury. The Financial Adviser co-oper- 
ates with the government in establishing economical 
and eflScient administration and expenditure. The 
debts of the Republic are to be at once paid — ^by bonds 
where the creditors chose to receive them. The 
bankers are to receive for their services their out-of- 
pocket expenses, legal charges, commission on the 
face value of the 5 per cent bonds, and 5 per cent 
on the bonds purchased by themselves. Residue bonds 
are to be held by the fiscal agents to meet approved, 
unadjusted indebtedness : final residue bonds will be 
sold and the money paid to Liberia for public 
improvements approved by the General Receiver. In 
order that this agreement should go into effect, it was 
necessary that the Liberian Legislature should pass 
all necessary measures of approval before January 1, 
1912. This was done. There was some delay in 
finally placing the funds at the disposition of the 
Liberian Government, but at present everything has 
been arranged and the new loan is in effect. This 
arrangement caused general joy throughout the 
Republic; it was felt not only that it released the 
people from a heavy and dangerous obligation to 
unfriendly creditors, but that it probably began a 
period of closer relationship between the United 
States and Liberia. It is possible that too much of a 
feeling of security existed. It is likely that more joy 
was felt over the receipt of $1,700,000 than of 
responsibility for its ultimate repayment. On the 
whole, it must be admitted that the loan is favorable 
to the Republic. The government has realized a 
much larger percentage of actual funds than in any 
of its preceding financial undertakings. There are, 



208 LIBERIA. ^ " 

however, some weak points in the plan. It is unfor- 
tunate that the loan was theoretically made through 
banks of different nations; as a matter of fact, it 
was an American enterprise, and should have been so 
in word as well. There is no reason why foreign 
nations should be interested — except indeed that 
Great Britain should experience a sentiment of joy 
in having the interests of her citizens secured. The 
sum of $1,700,000 is so small that it could have been 
easily supplied by American houses and considered a 
little matter with no actual political relations. That 
the loan should have been secured by a receivership is 
just, but it would have been much better to have 
appointed a single American receiver instead of four 
men of different nations. In this international 
receivership there lies considerable danger. Friction 
is likely. France, England, Germany are suspicious 
of each other. The simplest act is liable to miscon- 
struction, and one or another of the three sub- 
receivers is likely to feel his dignity and that of his 
nation affected, and squabbles are certain to arise. 
The American receiver, as is proper, is given the 
position of leadership. Suppose he were to die or be 
unfit for service; which of the other three receivers 
will take his place ? There appears to be no arrange- 
ment made for such a contingency, yet it is quite 
certain to arise, and if it should, the man who tem- 
porarily assumes the duties, will be particularly likely 
to find himself in trouble. The question as to location 
of the four receivers may some time or other raise 
difficulties. Suppose, for example, the British 
receiver were placed at Cape Mount, adjacent to 
British territory, and the French receiver were to be 
located at Cape Palmas, close to French authority; 
opportunity for unfaithfulness to the Republic would 
be very great. There is nothing in the history of the 
past to warrant us in assuming that these officials 
would be men of such high spirit and principle as to 
resist temptation. The possibility of difficulties 
between the General Receiver and the Liberian Gov- 



PROBLEMS. 209 

eminent is also very great. He is given large powers ; 
unless he is a man of extraordinary ability and well- 
balanced character, it is certain that complications 
will arise; there will be constant risk of his inter- 
meddling in every field of governmental affairs. Some 
of these diflSculties of course are inherent in a 
receivership, and as a receivership is absolutely neces- 
sary, their risk must be accepted. 

On the whole, the American loan should be a great 
help to Liberia. Friends of the Republic hope for 
the best results. The government is given a breath- 
ing spell, and time and opportunity for the re-adjust- 
ment of its economic interests. There is no danger, 
if the receivership is competent, but that the income 
of the nation will easily carry the loan with all its 
obligations, and leave ample funds in balance for the 
legitimate enterprises of the government. It is 
reasonable to hope that Liberia has entered upon a 
period of prosperity. 



14. 



Tea, I aaj these were but slaves who gave ns the Declaration 
of Independence. They were but slaves who framed our Con- 
stitution, they were but slaves who combatted with the odds of 
life, amidst wars, devastation, and foreign aggressions to hold 
intact for us and for our children this home of ours. — S. D. 
Ferguson, Jb. 

POLITICS. 

We have hesitated long about undertaking this dis- 
cussion of Liberian polities. We are almost certain 
to be misunderstood, no matter what we say or how 
we say it. In Liberia they will feel that we lack 
sympathy, that we drag forth their weaknesses and 
expose them to public scorn ; in this country they will 
fail to see that the weak points of Liberian politics 
are common to all republics, that they are as flagrant 
among ourselves as in Liberia; in foreign lands — 
should our book be read in such — ^what we say will 
be taken as justification for continued aggression 
and interference. We wish that Liberia were a land 
of general education; that the whole population had 
a clear understanding of the duties of citizenship; 
that knowledge of public questions were general. 
Such conditions are ideal in a republic. We do not 
find them in Liberia; we do not find them here. 
Liberian politics is patterned on our own; its weak- 
nesses are our weaknesses. It is easy for us to see 
its faults because we are an outside party; because 
we are rich and they are poor; because we are white 
and they are black. In Liberia there is a general 
desire to feed at the public trough ; it makes no dif- 
ference what a man is or what he has accomplished, 
every one is ready to go into politics; neither trade, 
agriculture, nor professional life restrains a man 
who has political opportunities presented to him; 

210 



PROBLEMS. 211 

everybody of ability wants oflSee. This is unfor- 
tunate; it is neither strange, unique, nor blame- 
worthy. Every official, however, has a list of depend- 
ents; once in office, he must provide for others; the 
number of brothers, sons, nephews, and cousins of 
officials who find some clerkship or small appoint- 
ment is relatively large. As almost every office in 
the Republic, save that of representatives ^and sen- 
ators, is appointed by the President, it is very easy 
for one who holds office to practice nepotism. It is 
and will be a long time before anything like actual 
civil service can find a place in Liberia. Such a 
condition of course leads to little activity in the doing 
of work for the Government ; the less a man can do 
to earn his salary, the better, so loiig as he is certain 
of his job. We have already called attention to the 
fact, quoting from Ellis, that there is relatively little 
of what we know as party politics in Liberia. Prac- 
tically there are no well marked political platforms 
based on principles. If, perchance, hostility to the 
powers that be threatens to become dangerous, it 
may be checked by skilful appointment from the 
opposition to office. Thus, at the last election, which 
was the most bitterly fought for many years, it was 
claimed that the defeated candidate, J. J. Dossen, 
would never be heard of in politics again; such, 
however, was not the case; he must be provided for, 
in order that his later course might not threaten the 
existing status; being without a job, he received 
appointment to the presidency of Liberia College — a 
mere temporary arrangement of course; he is now 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

There are, however, personal likes and dislikes 
which will vent themselves in outbursts of party 
spirit. The last election 'was really furious. It 
voiced the local jealousies of the whole Republic. 
Just as in the state of Illinois it is Chicago against 
the counties, and as in New York State it is the City 
of New York asrainst the upstate districts; so, in 
Liberia, it is Monrovia against the counties. The 



212 LIBERIA. 

election was really close after an exciting campaign. 
Charges of fraud were bitterly advanced. According 
to the African League, ther^ were wild doings in Bassa 
County where it is printed. We refrain from really 
quoting the interesting and exciting passages from its 
article, but venture to give here its opening para- 
graphs : 

'*As the day of election approached, great prep- 
arations were made by the Government and the Gov- 
ernment officials to defeat the National True Whig 
Party at any cost, and in any manner. They sent 
money in every direction to call unqualified name- 
less bushmen to come, and put into the hands of the 
Sheriff a paper which is worth only so much gin and 
rum to the bushmen. These bush people had never 
seen, nor heard of, the registrar's office. Neither do 
they own any land in contemplation of law, but 
Howard people, simply because they have had the 
Government's approval in this corruption, had 
planned to force the corruption into the polls. 

The people who stand for law and order sent 
white plates to all the native chiefs, after the cus- 
toms of the heathen, telling them to have nothing to 
do with the matter in which they are not concerned 
and know nothing about. 

The Government people threatened that they 
would vote these bush people or die. The people 
knew what that meant, and they began to prepare 
for the worst, for they were determined that the law 
should not be trampled under foot in that way to 
their prejudice, and that, too, by those who are the 
administrators of the law. On Monday, the first of 
May, a host of these uncivilized bush people, headed 
by Major Horace, flocked into the upper ward of 
Buchanan, well armed with the best guns of the Gov- 
ernment, and that night shooting in the streets was 
a common thing. Near Lower Buchanan, there were 
different bands of these wild, bush people in camp 
carrying on their savage plays. In Lower Buchanan 
at the Vai town, the hideous noise was kept up all 



PROBLEMS. 213 

night, apparently as a menace to the citizens for the 
next day." On the following day the election took 
place throughout the Eepublic, resulting in the con- 
tinuance in power of the interests which for so long 
had controlled the destinies of the nation; nine con- 
tested cases were lodged against the House of Repre- 
sentatives and one against the Senate; threats ran 
high, feeling was intense. It is certainly an interest- 
ing moment when more than half the membership of 
a house of Congress is in dispute. Yet this excite- 
ment was allayed, and the contests were all with- 
drawn; it was realized that Congress had important 
business before it in connection with the American 
Loan, and that the future of the Republic would be 
seriously jeopardized if the time of Congress were 
taken up with hearing contest cases instead of deal- 
ing with these outside matters. 

There is no question that in Liberia illegal voting 
is common. The election to which we have referred 
above was that of 1911; in 1901 Bishop Ferguson 
issued a charge to his clergy and lay members upon 
the subject of election evils in which the following 
words occur: **The corruptions and wickedness that 
have attended the last three or four campaigns are 
startling to all right-minded people, and, if con- 
tinued, no prophet is needed to foretell the disastrous 
consequences that will inevitably follow. Election 
frauds, open-handed bribery, and the utter disre- 
gard of all moral restraints seem to be the order of 
the day. Those who at other times are recognized as 
Christian gentlemen, do not scruple on these occa- 
sions to perpetrate offenses that are condemned both 
by God's law and that of the state. To procure the 
election of a party man, they lose sight of, or com- 
pletely disregard, their standing in the Church, in 
society, or the social circle; and will stoop to do the 
meanest act. What is worse than all, is the fact that 
the evils have become so rife that it appears there are 
not to be found innocent citizens enough to punish 
the guilty under the laws of the land. And now, to 



214 LIBEBIA. 

my mind, the worst feature of the thing is the fact 
that the aborigines — our brothers just emerging from 
the darkness of heathenism — are either coming volun- 
tarily, sought out and persuaded, or actually forced 
into this whirl-pool of corruption and wickedness. 
It is enough to chill one's blood to think of the 
impression made on their minds, on their induction 
into civilized usages at such time : — ^jostled through a 
crowd of men, — ^ruffians now, though at other times 
Christian gentlemen — armed with deadly weapons of 
every description, they are made to swear that they 
are constitutionally qualified for the highest privi- 
lege of citizenship under a republican form of gov- 
ernment.'* 

Again in an Independence Day address given by 
Dr. Dingwall at Buchanan in 1910 were these words : 
''Ignorant and purchasable voters are ruinous to all 
other republics. Why not to ours likewise f At the 
polls the vote of a fool is counted one, and that one 
takes the whole of a philosopher's to cancel it. Now 
in Liberia these are chiefly manufactured from the 
wild heathen, more than ninety-nine in a night. The 
privilege to take a few acres of land and register 
hundreds of nameless natives, or on election day to 
vote each hour the identical bushman, by simply 
christening him afresh for each occasion, is a danger- 
ous weai)on in the hands of politicians. This prac- 
tice would have destroyed democracy, were these 
leaders even honest in purpose and patriotic in 
spirit. ' ' 

The seriousness of the situation is that any effort to 
keep the native vote from being fraudulently cast, is 
likely to interfere with^the legitimate voting of quali- 
fied chiefs; the desirability of having those natives 
who are really entitled to the vote exercise their 
right of franchise is most important; but to give 
unqualified native voters the chance to cast fraudu- 
lent ballots is bad indeed. Of course this wh^le ques- 
tion of illegal voting should hardly shock us ; in my 
own morning paper, the very day when I am writing 



PROBIiEMS. 215 

this, these words appear in prominent head-lines : 
** Fraud in ballots a Chicago habit Butts Board told." 
It is impossible for the pot to call the kettle black. 
The outside world, however, unaccustomed to the 
little peculiarities of ** manhood suffrage," will no 
doubt claim to be sadly shocked; it might even be 
that some clean-skirted nation like France or Eng- 
land might hysterically demand reform. 

We have elsewhere claimed that the Liberians, too, 
know graft. OfBcial salaries are very small ; why then 
does political ofBce possess such great attraction? Of 
course position and power count for something; but 
there are other solid advantages connected with office 
in Liberia as well as in other lands. When graft 
exists in France, Germany, even in respectable and 
pious England, it is not strange that it exists in the 
African Republic. More than that, graft is by no 
means confined to civilization; the native in the bush 
understands it both in theory and practice. It would 
be strange indeed if the descendants of barbaric 
grafters, who had been trained in civilized graft 
through a long American experience, should be free 
from graft when conducting their own affairs in a 
new land as rich by nature as is Liberia. The num- 
ber of schemes which are proposed to the Liberian 
Legislature is very large ; many of them are magnifi- 
cent in their proportions, enterprises, and prospects; 
what could be more dazzling than the project sub- 
mitted a few years ago by the Ellsworth Company of 
New York! I do not mean to say that that individual 
company used improper means to influence legis- 
lative action ; but a company with as ambitious plans 
as they offered, if adequately capitalized, could easily 
have made the whole Legislature rich rather than lose 
their opportunity. In the same way Sir William 
Lever, in his effort to secure monopoly or large advan- 
tage in the palm-oil product of the Republic would, 
from a business jwint of view, be amply justified in 
making it well worth while for the patriots to en- 
courage his enterprise. Of course, many of these 



216 LIBERU. 

schemes fail totally ; many of them never get beyond 
a paper proposition; in the past, however, the Li- 
berian Legislature has been much too free in giving 
concessions with monopolies. While the terms given 
to the English Rubber Company seemed to leave op- 
portunity for competitive development of the trade 
by others, it practically put all competitors in the 
power of the company. Liberia is beginning to 
realize that in careless granting of monopolies and 
special privileges she has hampered her own freedom 
and interfered with legitimate development; not 
long ago the Gk)vemment granted a concession to 
Edgar Allen Forbes and others; it seems to have 
been a legitimate and carefully-thought-out enter- 
prise which he submitted; its development would no 
doubt be advantageous to the public; but it is found 
that previous concessions were infringed by some of 
its terms, and difficulties have arisen. On the whole, 
it would be much better for Liberia if the proposi- 
tions submitted to it were less pretentious and far- 
reaching ; it is better that she should have fifty diflfer- 
ent companies operating within her borders, each 
within a definite field and succeeding within modest 
limits, than that everything should be held in the 
hands of one or two great corporations which, when 
a moment of difficulty comes, may be able to bring 
influences to bear which will threaten or even destroy 
the existence of the nation. 

Liberian officials quite well know the thing which 
we call junkets. One might almost think himself at 
home at times. When some crisis arises, and the 
*'Lark'' must be sent to a seat of danger, high offi- 
cials, whose relations to the Government are not such 
that their presence is necessary at the seat of dis- 
turbance, take advantage of the opportunity for a 
fine outing. The nation may be in financial difficulty, 
but good food, good smoking, and good drinks seem 
easily provided; such an outing not infrequently 
gives the official opportunity to transact private busi« 
ness, for he may have interests near the seat of the 



PROBLEMS. 217 

disturbance. Junkets are presumably inherent in 
governmental activities of every kind; they are not 
confined to democracies, though they are common in 
them. Anywhere of course they are undesirable and 
should be curbed; nations, especially republics, 
should not be called upon to supply free outings, 
free business opportunities, free luxuries to individ- 
uals at public cost. 

One of the reforms demanded by the British mem- 
orandum was the improvement of the judiciary. 
Here there was indeed real reason for complaint. 
Liberia has few well trained lawyers; it was not 
uncommon for a man to be appointed judge who had 
no legal training; there were not infrequent cases 
of personal and professional misconduct on the part 
of judges. President Barclay, in his message of 1908, 
a notable document be it said in passing, says the 
following: ** International attacks upon this (our 
judicial system) commenced some years ago, and the 
movement was initiated by citizens of the German 
Empire living in Liberia. But the crisis has been 
precipitated by our people. When the editor of the 
African League, himself an ex- judge, an attorney at 
law, a citizen, publishes a special edition of his paper, 
headed ** Startling Revelations,'' in which the judi- 
cial system of the country is attacked both in its 
personnel as well as on ite administrative side, when 
he describes himself as a scapegoat and martyr, and 
when months pass and no reply to his attack is made 
by the persons affected, what conclusion, do you 
think, can other communities of the world, having 
business interests in Liberia, draw?" In his address, 
The Impartial Administration of Justice, the Corner- 
stone of a Nation, Justice T. McCants Stewart says : 
**It can not be denied, however, that our judiciary 
to-day is the object of serious charges both by for- 
eigners and our own citizens, and they are charges 
which demand serious consideration. They can not 
be brushed aside. The British Government is not 
alone in making these charges. Our own people have 



218 LIBERIA. 

made them, and our Chief Executive has declared to 
the Legislature that evils exist in our judicial system 
which must be speedily remedied if we desire to 
strengthen ourselves as a nation. Gentlemen of the 
Bar : Can we be quiet while our judges are charged 
both at home and abroad with: (1) ignorance; (2) 
excessive use of intoxicants; (3) the exhibition of 
prejudice or passion in the trial of cases; (4) shock- 
ing immorality; (5) accepting retainers from pri- 
vate parties; (6) sharing moneys as a reward for 
the arrest of criminals; (7) accepting bribes? " This 
is specific enough and bad enough. To the credit of 
the nation be it said that reforms have seriously been 
undertaken, and the present condition of the judi- 
ciary is greatly improved." It is rather interesting 
that we ourselves at this moment are agitating 
against a corrupt judiciary ; it is scarcely likely that 
we are in a condition for stone-throwing. 

Of course where there is corruption in the judi- 
ciary there is almost certain to be miscarriage of 
justice. During the time we were in Monrovia, there 
was great excitement over the case of Col. Lomax 
and Commissioner Cooper. We have already men- 
tioned Col. Lomax. He figured conspicuously in the 
Kanre-Lahun matter, when he gained the undying 
hostility of the British ; when Major Mackay Cadell 
was removed from his position as the head of the 
Frontier Force, Lomax took charge; he has recently 
been in the district of the newly acquired Behlu 
Territory. This is the tract of forest land, of little 
value, which Great Britain traded to the Liberian 
Government in exchange for the rich and desirable 
Kanre-Lahun district. Poor as that area is, Britain 
will never be content to leave it in Liberian posses- 
sion. In taking over the area. Col. Lomax was sent 
to the new boundary with soldiers, and Commissioner 
Cooper was sent to aid in delimiting the boundary. 
Of course there was trouble; there would have been 
trouble had Lomax and Cooper been angels. At the 
town of Behlu itself, certainly within the new Li- 



PROBLEMS. 219 

berian territory, there was difficulty, and several 
Liberian soldiers were killed. All sorts of complaints 
were hurried to Monrovia by the Sierra Leone author- 
ties : — ^Lomax was causing difficulties ; he and Cooper 
were interfering with the delimitation of the bound- 
ary ; Liberian soldiers, instigated no doubt by Lomax, 
were tearing down the cairns which marked the 
boundary line; the British commissioners refused to 
do anything unless both men were summoned from 
the border, and meantime would charge up the ex- 
penses of the commission for the period of their idle- 
ness; Col. Lomax was accused of murder — ^it was 
stated that he had killed eight native chiefs. These 
complaints were so urgent and serious that the Presi- 
dent of the Republic sent orders to Lomax and Cooper 
to return at once to Monrovia; to these orders no 
attention was given. The Secretary of State was 
sent to fetch them, but is said to have stayed in the 
district, apparently sympathizing in their attitude; 
it is asserted that the deeds of violence, destruction 
of cairns, and insulting of British commissioners con- 
tinued after he was on the ground. The Postmaster- 
General was hurried to the boundary to bring back 
the Secretary of State, the Colonel, the Commissioner, 
and their henchman. Lieutenant Morris, — who, it 
seems, had been the active agent in the cairn destruc- 
tion. Some days of inexplicable delay seem to have 
passed, when the Secretary of the Treasury, the 
Assistant Secretary of State, and Capt. Brown (one 
of the American officers) were hastened to the scene 
of difficulty to get the recalcitrants home. The Sec- 
retary of State, Postmaster-General, Secretary of the 
Treasury, and Capt. Brown started together for Mon- 
rovia; Lomax, Cooper, and Morris were reported to 
be already upon their way through the interior to 
the capital. Arrived there, Lomax and Cooper were 
promptly jailed; less promptly they were brought 
to trial. The Attorney-General presented the case 
against them. Lomax was tried for the murder of 
two native chiefs ; Cooper for the murder of a third. 



220 UBEIOA. 

The Lomax trial lasted two days; it was before the 
jury for but ten minutes. He was found not guilty, 
and was carried in triumph on the shoulders of 
friends, amidst a great outburst of feeling, from the 
court-house. The Cooper trial came the next day; it 
was promptly decided in his favor. There is no ques- 
tion that the Behlu difficulty is on; Great Britain 
will in some way get back the territory which she so 
generously traded to Liberia; undoubtedly in the 
diplomatic dealings regarding it much will be made 
of this Lomax case ; there is not the least doubt that 
the native chiefs were killed; there is no denial that 
Lomax and Cooper were responsible for the killing; 
but the trial and its results are good psychology; 
they were as inevitable as anything could be. There 
was in this case no actual miscarriage of justice; 
Col. Lomax is a national hero; he embodied the 
national aspirations; he represented the nation as 
a victim of the injustice and greed of Britain through 
the years ; his ovation was the result of natural senti- 
ments. It may not be diplomacy ; it may not be good 
politics ; but it is in the very nature of humanity. 



The great American government, after a silence, far from 
forgetting and abandonmg the tender infant cast upon the 
shores of Africa, has come in our hour of danger to assist us 
on her strong pinions to a nest of safety. If we but follow her 
example and heed her teachings of economy, thrift and indus- 
try, and if we >are just in our dealings with men and nations 
we shall never escape her vigilant eye, nor cease to be the 
object of marked manifestation of interest on her part. — Daniel 
E. Howard. 

THE APPEAL TO THE UNITED STATES. 

In 1908 Liberian conditions were desperate. 
England and France had been alternately slicing 
oflf territory; debts were weighing the nation down, 
and creditors were pressing; reforms were insolently 
demanded under threats. The future indeed was 
dark. In her hour of desperation, Liberia turned to 
the United States. The idea of seeking aid from 
us seems to have been first voiced by T. McCants 
Stewart in January, 1908. A Commission was ap- 
pointed by the Legislature — consisting of Garretson 
W. Gibson, J. J. Dossen, and Charles B. Dunbar, with 
Charles R. Branch and T. J. R. Faulkner as secre- 
taries. Garretson W. Gibson had been President of 
the Republic and was a man well on in years and 
generally respected; J. J. Dossen was at the time 
Vice-President; Charles B. Dunbar is a successful 
and well trained lawyer. On its way to the United 
States the Commission visited Germany, where it 
was well received and oflScially entertained in the 
capital city, Berlin. On its arrival in New York in 
May, Charles Hall Adams, of Boston, Consul-General 
for Liberia in this country, and Booker T. Washing- 
ton received them and attended to the details of their 
visit. They spent several days in New York and 
visited Tuskegee, but, of course, spent most of their 

221 



222 LIBERU. 

time in the city of Washington. . They were received 
by President Roosevelt on the 10th of June, had sev- 
eral important interviews with Secretary Boot, and 
were introduced to Secretary Taft — ^just before the 
Republican Convention was held which nominated 
him for the presidency of the United States. They 
were everywhere treated with distinguished courtesy 
and everywhere made a remarkably favorable im- 
pression; the newspapers gave considerable space to 
their visit and quite a general interest was aroused 
in their errand. A notable reception was given in 
their honor in Washington by the Negro Business 
League. Before they left New York, Secretary Taft 
had received his nomination, and one of their last 
official acts was the sending of a letter of congratula- 
tion to him. 

The Commission arrived at home in August, 1909. 
An official reception was given them on the 18th by 
President Barclay. The address of welcome was 
given by the Secretary of State, F. E. R. Johnson, 
and other addresses by Acting Mayor Roberts and 
Postmaster-General Prout. Replies were made by 
Gibson, Dossen, Dunbar, and Faulkner. It is sig- 
nijScant that in these addresses more emphasis was 
laid upon the subject of negro education in the 
United States than upon other matters. Both then 
and while in this country, Vice-President Dossen 
especially emphasized the importance of immigra- 
tion ; he wants 600,000 negroes from America to settle 
in Liberia, and claims that the people of Liberia feel 
that they are holding their territory in trust for this 
mass of immigrants. Music and refreshments were 
supplied and a speech of congratulation given by 
President Barclay. Of course nothing definite at this 
time could be said in regard to the actual results of 
the Commission's visit; no one knew just what im- 
pression had been made upon our Government; no 
one knew just what to expect in the way of action. 

Our Government, however, had seriously taken 
Liberian matters under advisement, and on the 4th 



PROBLEMS. 223 

of March, 1909, an American Commission was ap- 
pointed to visit Liberia and to investigate Liberian 
conditions. The Commissioners were Roland P. 
Falkner, George Sale, and Emmett J. Scott, with 
George A. Finch as secretary. The Commission 
sailed on April 24th, 1909, and arrived in Monrovia 
on the 8th of May. They spent thirty days in Liberia 
and Sierra Leone. The work they had to do was 
wisely divided up among the members of the Com- 
mission, in order to permit their accomplishing the 
utmost in the short time at their disposition. 

Their arrival at Liberia was hailed with joy. In 
anticipation of their coming the legislators had come 
from all the counties to Monrovia and were in the 
capital before the arrival of the Commission. The 
cruiser Chester arrived in front of Monrovia on the 
morning of May 8th, and at once saluted with twenty- 
one guns; the salute was returned by the Liberians 
from the shore. Ernest Lyon, the American Minis- 
ter, at once boarded the vessel. When he returned, 
the Attorney-General with a party of citizens went 
on board to escort the Commissioners to the shore. 
The city was gaily decorated. The Mayor, Common 
Council, and a crowd of citizens met the Commis- 
sioners at the landing where, under the first arch of 
welcome, the acting Mayor made an address. Mr. 
Falkner replied on behalf of the Commission. Two 
companies of the militia escorted the Commission up 
the hill to the second arch, where Mrs. Parker ad- 
dressed them on behalf of the Liberian ladies. Sale 
responded, after which Mrs. McGill spoke on behalf 
of the county of Grand Bassa. At the third arch 
Miss Irene A. Gant received them on behalf of Sinoe 
County, and Miss Matilda Roberts on behalf of Mary- 
land County. Passing now to the American legation, 
they were oflScially received by the American Min- 
ister. Few public occasions in the history of Mon- 
rovia equal this reception, which fairly deserves to 
be called a popular ovation. On the 11th, President 
Barclay offered the Commission an official reception 



224 LIBERIA. 

at which the President and the Cabinet, the Com- 
mission and attaches, and the United States Minister 
with his Secretary were present. In the afternoon 
of the 12th, a general reception was given at the 
Executive Mansion. During their stay in Africa, the 
Commission visited Grand Bassa and Maryland, and 
in both regions they were treated with distinguished 
courtesy. The report of the Commission sent to the 
Senate and House of Eepresentatives by President 
Taft on March 25th, 1910, was an exceptionally good 
public document. The Commission recognized the 
importance of the work entrusted to it and did its 
work with thoroughness. They made six recommen- 
dations to our government. They were as follows: 
(1) That the United States extend its aid to Liberia 
in the prompt settlement of pending boundary dis- 
putes! (2) That the United States enable Liberia 
to refund its debt by assuming as guarantee for the 
payment of obligations under such arrangement the 
control and collection of the Liberian customs. (3) 
That the United States lend its assistance to the 
Liberian Government in the reform of its internal 
finances. (4) That the United States lend its aid 
to Liberia in organizing and drilling an adequate 
constabulary or frontier police force. (5) That the 
United States should establish and maintain a re- 
search station in Liberia. (6) That the United States 
re-open the question of a naval coaling station in 
Liberia. Some of these recommendations the United 
States has carried through. She has made the loan 
necessary for the refunding of the public debt; she 
is lending assistance to the Liberian Government in 
the reform of internal finances ; she is aiding Liberia 
in the organization and drilling of her frontier force. 
These are good things, and it is to be hoped that they 
will prove as helpful as has been anticipated. We 
should help Liberia, and help her handsomely; she 
deserves all that we can do for her. We must be careful, 
of course, in our assistance, not to accustom her to the 
notion of dependency. Muscle can only be developed 



PROBLEMS. 225 

in a body by the exercise of that body itself. No 
being can develop muscle for another. Liberia, if 
she is to prosper, must develop energy, force, inde- 
pendence ; she needs help but must work out her own 
salvation. Exercise to be valuable must not be a 
death struggle; we must protect her from her foes, 
but we must insist upon her self-development. There 
are, however, still many things that we can do for 
the Eepublie without reducing her to a condition of 
dependency and pauperization. 

We should energize every already existing bond 
between us. There are already missions established 
in the Republic; these should be handsomely main- 
tained, without forgetting that the ultimate end is 
the production of self-supporting churches ; the needs 
of missions and mission-schools should be carefully 
examined by the different Boards and liberal appro- 
priations made to meet them ; it is desirable that the 
Presbyterian denomination — so rich, respectable, and 
self-satisfied — should really look after its *' little 
flock of humble black folk" with their splendid op- 
portunity before them. The Boards which hold funds 
for the benefit of Liberia College should seriously 
recognize the importance of their responsibility ; they 
should investigate with care, and act promptly and 
liberally; they must devise some method of more 
effective co-operation with the local management for 
gaining the great ends possible by combined action. 
There are funds in the United States intended to aid 
Liberia, which are tied up and have been tied up for 
many years through some unfortunate condition in 
the terms of the bequest; such funds, if possible, 
should be put to work ; if they are actually unavail- 
able, it is best that a final decision be reached, and 
public announcement be made of the unfortunate 
fact; it is better that Liberia should not be kept 
waiting in hope of aid that never comes. A consid- 
erable interest was aroused in the United States by 
the visit of the Commission in 1908 ; this interest was 

16. 



226 LIBERIA. 

shown in the newspapers of the day ; it is greatly to 
be desired that the American people should be kept 
constantly informed as to Liberia; information should 
not be spasmodically given out^ but there should be 
a definite, constant spreading of facts regarding the 
Republic, whose heroic struggle deserves our firm and 
steady sympathy. The need was never greater for a 
regular line of shipping between the two Republics 
than now; this has been already sufficiently con- 
sidered. It would be a fine philanthropy to estab- 
lish and conduct such a line of communication for 
a period of time, even at a loss ; in the long run, the 
line would lose its philanthropic feature and become 
a fairly pajdng business proi)osition. It is most im- 
portant that the contact between the two nations be 
increased; Liberians have occasionally come to us 
under various circumstances; more Americans in 
course of time visit Liberia than the public generally 
knows ; every opportunity of inviting Liberians to 
this country as students, delegates, visitors, business 
representatives, should be encouraged; and it should 
become a simple, natural, and frequent thing for 
Americans to visit the black Republic. Lastly, our 
government should adopt a clear and definite policy 
of sympathy ; if we make it well understood that we 
look upon Liberia as related to us, and that we will 
permit no further injustice, we need have no fears 
of being involved in international difficulties on her 
account; the cry '* hands off" will be sufficient. Let 
us quit internationalizing her problems. They are 
justly questions between us and her; they concern 
no other nation. But do not let us ever think of 
absorbing the Republic; let us guarantee her in- 
dependence; we do not wish a protectorate; we 
have too many different kinds of national relations 
now; Alaska, Hawaii, Porto Rico, Cuba, Santo Dp- 
mingo, Nicaragua, and the Philippines make our 
governmental policy to-day sufficiently complex. We 
want no more new and strange relations. Liberia is 



PROBLEMS. 227 

our sister nation — daughter, if you please — and very 
definitely such. She is brunette, but her virtues are 
our virtues, her vices are our vices. Let us admit and 
emphasize the kinship. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 

THE LIBERIAN CRISIS. 
( Unity. March 25, 1909. ) 

In closing my The Truth about the Congo, I said: "If it 
is necessary for us as a nation to look for African adventure; 
if to give a strenuous President the feeling that he is 'doing 
something ' we must meddle in the affairs of the Dark Continent, 
there is a district where we might intervene with more of reason 
and consistency and grace than we are doing by going to the 
Congo. We onoe established on African soil, whether wisely or 
not I do not intend to discuss, a free republic for the blacks. 
In Liberia we have an American enterprise, pure and simple. 
It has not been a great success. It is just possible — ^though I 
doubt it — ^that Liberia would at several times have profited and 
been advantaged by our instruction and interest. But it seems 
to possess little interest for us. Just now, like the Congo, it 
is attracting British attention. Whether it has large or little 
value, whether it possesses great opportunities or not, it is now 
a center of interest to Great Britain. She does not need our 
help in pulling chestnuts from the fire there, and there has been 
strange silence and ignorance in this country regarding it as a 
new sphere for English influence. If we assist England in ex- 
panding her African possessions at the expense of the Congo 
Free State, Liberia will be the next fraction of Africa to suc- 
cumb to English rule. England's methods of. procedure are 
various. It might be a useful lesson for our statesmen and 
politicians to study Liberia's prospects with care. We are still 
young in the business of grabbing other people's lands. Eng- 
land could teach us many lessons. The latest one may well be 
worthy of our attention, since, in a certain sense, it deals with 
a district where we naturally possess an interest." 

At the time, these suggestions caused some surprise. Amer- 
icans were (and are) totally ignorant regarding Liberia and 
felt that my remarks were due to prejudice. I have no preju- 
dice against England, from which my ancestry chiefly came. A 
few months have proved the truth of my predictions. In May 
last a Commission appointed by the Liberian government called 
upon President Boosevelt and begged the intervention of the 
United States for the purpose of guaranteeing independence 
and ''integrity against the encroachments of powerful Euro- 

229 



230 LIBERU. 

pean governments." Among the reasonable ideas urged by 
this Comsnission was that disputes between Liberia and France, 
Germany and England should be settled by arbitration and not 
by a resort to force. We wisely refused to establish a protect- 
orate over Liberia, but our government agreed to use its good 
offices with England. France and Germany. Considerable corre- 
spondence seems to nave taken place and some interest relative 
to Liberia has been aroused. But on the whole no serious 
progress has been made and a few days since the newspax>ers 
contained the following item: 

* * Washington, D. C, Feb. 12. — Cable advices received at the 
state department today indicate that a climax has been reached 
in the Liberian situation. Conditions are grave, and great alarm 
is felt by foreign officials in liberian employ. 

''A British gunboat has arrived to afford protection to 
foreign interests and a company of soldiers has been sent from 
Sierra Leone to the capitol at Monrovia for the same purpose. 
Apparently great despondency is entertained i^ to the ability 
of the government to maintain itself and as to the future of 
Liberia as a nation." 

The notice closed with these words: 

* * The cable today called attention to the effort of the state 
department, inaugurated by Secretary Boot, to secure an appro- 
priation of $20,000 to enable the president to send to Liberia 
a commission with a view to reporting^recommendations as to 
the specific action this government should take which would 
constitute the most effective measures of relief. Secretary Boot 
anticipated the development of conditions which would menace 
seriously the future of Liberia, which was established as a direct 
result of the action, first, of American citizens, and, secondly, of 
the government of the United States. ' ' 

What can we dof What should we dof First; we should 
notify Great Britain, France and Ctermany that encroachment 
upon Liberian sovereignty will be considered an unfriendly act 
by us; that coercion ought not to be used in the collection of 
debts, even though Liberia did not take part in the Hague Con- 
ference of 1907. Second ; we should use our good offices to bring 
about definite arrangements between Liberia and the European 
nations for arbitration of all points at issue between them. 
Third; we should under no circumstances attempt to make a 
model government for her, nor should we insist upon reforms 
along our lines, but we should appoint an advisory commission 
of thoughtful and well-balanced men, who shall thoroughly in- 
vesti^te conditions and stand ready to give asked advice when 
neediul upon points of importance. This commission should be 
retained for several years and shoiUd be non-partisan. So much 
we can and should do. 



BEPBINTED ARTICLES. 231 

THE NEEDS OF LIBERIA. 
(The Open Court. March, 1913.) 

The situation of Liberia is critical. Her long-troubling 
boundary questions with Great Britain and France are not per- 
manently settled; they have been re-opened and both countries 
are pressing. 

We did well to come to her financial aid; but we did badly in 
needlessly inflicting upon her an expensive and complieatjed 
international receivership instead of an economicalf simple and 
national one. 

Liberia's crying needs are: 

a. Training of her native frontier force to protect her 
boundaries and maintain order there; 

h. Development of existing trails, with their ultimate trans- 
formation into roads and railroad beds; 

0. Bestoration and development of agriculture— now 
neglected ; 

d. Education, especially along lines of manual and tech- 
nical training. 

Liberia's greatest asset is her native population; only by 
imbuing it with the feeling of common interest and by securing 
its hea^y co-operation can the government of Africa's only 
republic hope to maintain itself and prosper. 

A SOJOURNER IN LIBERIA. 

{The SpiHt of Missions. April, 1913.) 

Anxious to see all possible of Liberia, we gladly accepted 
Bishop Ferguson's invitation to visit Bromley and to inspect 
the work done at the Julia C. Emery Hall. On reaching the 
landing at Monrovia at 8 a. m. we found the mission steamer, 
the John Payne, ready. Our party consisted of ex-President 
Barclay, ex-Postmaster-General Blount, Justice T. McCants 
Stewart of the Supreme Court, Major Young, U. S. A., military 
attach^ of the American Legation, Mayor Johnson, the Kev. 
Mr. Cassell and Bishop Ferguson — all residents of Liberia — 
my photographer and myself. He and I were the only white 
men. Of the colored men some were born in Liberia, others in 
the United States — North and South — one at least in the British 
West Indies. Ex-President Arthur Barclay is by many consid- 
ered to be the ablest man of Liberia ; he has had a wide experi- 
ence and has gained exceptional knowledge of Liberian needs 
and problems. Mayor Johnson is one of the sons of the late 
President Johnson, who was the first "son of the soil" to oc- 
cupy the presidential chair of the negro republic. Bishop 
Ferguson, born in South Carolina, has lived so many years in 
Cape Palmas and Monrovia that no one ever thinks of him as 



232 UBEBU. 

anght but a Liberian. He is a man of energy and ideas and 
his work speaks for his efficiency. We were soon off, and for 
three hours steamed up the river, a typical, tropical African 
stream. A dense tangle of mangroves extends far out from the 
shore on both sides, over the water, completely concealing the 
actual land; the trunks rise from pyramids of exposed roots; 
from the branches, slender shoots, round-tipped, strike vertically 
down, i>enetrate the water, force their way into the soft, oozy 
mud of the river bottom, take root and aid in spreading the 
tangled growth still further out over the water. Here and there 
straight gashes are cut into this mass of crowded trees to serve 
as limding-channels for native canoes. The first part of our 
journey was up a branch stream, the St. Paul 's Biver branching 
near its mouth and entering the sea by more than the single 
outlet. As we approached the main river, the mangrove thicket 
thinned, and the most striking feature in the vegetation wss 
the dragon-palm. It, too, rises from a pyramidal mass of ex- 
posed roots, but in form and foliage it is totally nnHke the man- 
grove; its long narrow leaves lead to its being often called 
the sword-palm. Here we could often look back over the land, 
and saw oil-palms with their delicate, graceful crowns outlined 
against the blue sky — ^truly blue sky, for by October 15 the 
period of rains is practically over. We had passed settlements, 
here and there, upon the way ; single houses of ' ' Liberians, ' ' or 
little clusters of ** native'* huts; New Georgia, on our right, 
is quite a village but seems to bear an indifferent reputation — 
due perhaps to its history; it was settled with slaves rescued 
from slaving-vessels and such slaves were rarely considered as 
equals, in the old days, by the colonists. 

When we reached the main river, the whole character of the 
scenery changed. The river itself was wider; the banks were 
cleaner and the flat land stood higher; the mangrove swamps 
disapx>eared ; plantations showing considerable attention were 
to be seen here and there. While we had chatted and viewed 
the scene the Bishop had not been idle, and the smiling black 
boy now passed an abundant supply of sandwiches and sliced 
cake, daintily wrapped in paper and tied with narrow ribbons, 
all prepared beforehand by Mrs. Ferguson. Served with lemon 
and strawberry soda-water they were a welcome refreshment. 

We had been so fully occupied that we had hardly noticed 
that three hours had passed when we saw Bromley ahead. The 
building stands on a level terrace well above the river. It is 
said to be the largest in Liberia; whether so 'or not, it is a 
spacious, plain, well-built construction, admirably adapted to 
its purpose. Its architect and master builder, Mr. Scott, met 
us at the landing. He is a native of pure blood, a Grebo from 
Gape Palmas district. He has never been outside of Liberia 
and has had to gain his knowledge and experience as he best 
could. He has had correspondence instruction from an Ameri- 
can school and finds it of advantage. 



BEPRINTED ARTICLES. 233 

The building ia known as the Julia C. Emeiy Hall and senrea 
as a girls * sehool. The parlor is a fine room and upon its walls 
are displayed interesting cuts, portraits and documents, all, 
relative to national, racial and mission history. We were shown 
through the building from tower — ^whence a splendid view over 
the river is to be had — ^to cellar. It is well equipj)ed— dormi- 
tories, school rooms, chapel, dining room, kitchen, washrooms, 
storerooms — all suitable and neat and clean. Seventy girls are 
in attendance. There are not beds for all the children, perhaps 
not for more than half of them ; half of the children sleep upon 
the floor on mats. This is no special hardship, as tlwy are 
used to it; in my own opinion they are quite as well off without 
beds. 

The girls form two groups — ^the large girls dressed in blue 
and white and the little girls dressed in pmk and white. They 
seem neat and happy. They rendered a program for us which 
would have done credit to any teaching here at home: 

Singing— *'He Who Safely Keepeth" .School 

Becitation — ^ * The Burden' ' Miss Jahlamae 

Singing — ' * Sweet and Low " 

Misses Nichols, Gibson, Tucker, Wisner 

Dialogue — * * Patience " A class 

Singing— "Wider Than the Ocean' ' School 

Becitation— ** The Echo" A class 

Becitation— ** The Hurry Order" Miss Wood 

Singing — * * Those Eternal Bowers " School 

Becitation — ' * Genesis, Chap. XLIX " A class 

Becitation — * * The Chambered Nautilus " Miss Wright 

Becitation — * * Jephtha 's Daughter " Miss Muhlenberg 

Singing-— ** The Whole Wide World*' School 

It is particularly interesting to see the harmony and friend- 
ship here. Some of the girls are Liberians, but there are also 
native girls from various parts of the country and from various 
tribes — Golas, Krus, Grebos. We went to the dining room, 
which had been cleared, and the girls went through with a calis- 
thenic drill, which was beautifully rendered. Mrs. Moort is in 
charge of the school and deserves much credit for its satisfac- 
tory condition. After this drill was over we sat down to a 
table loaded with good things, and some of the larger girls aided 
in the serving. One of the aims of the school is to teach work 
and housekeeping. The school property includes two hundred 
acres of land, which will supply much of the food needed in 
school and provide opportunity for instruction in gardening. 

The Bishop stated that we must not tarry, as we were ex- 
pected at Clay- Ashland. A half hour by steamer brought us to 
its landing, where the resident clergyman, Mr. Cooper, son-in- 
law of Bishop Ferguson, met us. We walked up through a 
straggling settlement to the little church, near which a sign in 
brilliant lettering announced * * Welcome. ' ' Here we turned to 
the right and in a moment reached Alexander Crummell Hall, 



234 LIBERIA* 

in constmetion. Here another brilliant lettering proclaimed 
* * A Hearty Welcome to You. ' ' The building ia to be of wood 
with corrugated iron roofing; it is not yet coyered in, but prom- 
ises to be a fine and suitable structure. Only the side verandah 
was usable; it was covered in and adorned with palms in honor 
of the occasion. The boys and young men were seated on two 
lines of benches facing, between wluch we walked up to the 
vpesker^s table. There were perhaps forty students present. 
They carried through a little program — treading, singing and 
addresses, all carri^ through with fine swing and vigor. The 
address of welcome was given in good English by a Bassa boy. 
In some interesting and appropriate remarks Major Toung 
spoke to the boys of the life and lesson of Alexander Crummell, 
in whose honor the hall was named and whom he himself had 
known. It was now well on in the afternoon and time for us 
to start on our return journey. This was rapidly accomplished 
as the current was in our favor and we tied up at the landing 
in Monrovia at 6:30, with stars twinkling in the sky above us 
and town lights reflected in the water below. 

Bishop Ferguson had invited me to see the Km service on 
a Sunday afternoon. Two Km men called to escort me to the 
little chapel, which is situated on a rocky slope overhanging 
Krutown. The native settlement is at the waterside, upon the 
low sandy beach; its population, houses and life are purely 
native. Down there they speak Km; men and boys all know 
English ; some women and girls do. It is a hardy, vigorous, en- 
ergetic population. The men are water folk; they are splendid 
canoe men ; they are the main dependence of the steamers, which 
they serve as crews and wharfingers. When we arrived at the 
little chapel we found it crowd^; more than a hundred men, 
women and children were assembled. The women were a sight 
for tired eyes, with their brilliant wrappings, gay head bands 
and ring-l(Mided fingers. Few Liberians were present — ^Bishop 
and Mrs. Ferguson, Superintendent Bright and a few teachers. 
Pastor McKrae is native — ^but a Grebo, not a Km. The two 
tribes are related and their languages are very similar. I was 
warmly welcomed and an interesting program of singing and 
recitation was carried out — all in Km except the Bishop 's intro- 
duction and my own remarks, which were interpreted from 
English into Km as we spoke. These people are enthusiastic; 
they are interested in their chapel and contribute to its support ; 
they are crowded in their present quarters and are about to 
raise a larger and finer building. 

I had intended to see the work at Gape Palmas, but it was 
impossible for me to go there. For that at Bromley, Glay- 
Ashland and Km chapel I have only words of praise. My own 
opinion is that Liberia 's greatest asset is the native. He exists 
in a score of independent tribes and counts a million souls. If 
the little black republic is to hold its own, if it is to r^nain a 
nation among nations, if it is to lead the way to African re- 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 235 

demption, there must be a mutual realization by Liberians and 
Natives of their common interest, and a hearty co-operation. 
The burden is too heavy for the Liberian alone. In Bishop 
Ferguson's work there is the nearest approach to tolerance, 
anion, brotherhood and mutual helpfulness seen during my 
expedition. 

liberia, the hope of the dark 

Continent. 

(Unity. March 20, 1913.) 

An addre88 given at All Souls Churchy Abraham Lincoln 
Centre, Chicago, March 9, 191S. As this contains little that 
is not contained in the next item, and nothing hut what 
occurs in the body of the hook, it is not reprinted here, 

WHAT LIBERIA NEEDS. 
{The Independent. April 3, 1913.) 

In 1905 I sailed from Antwerp to the mouth of the Kongo 
Biver. When we reached Freetown, Sierra Leone, we spent sev- 
eral hours on shore. On returning to the steamer we found all 
greatly changed; the white crew was laid off and the steamer 
was swarming with black boys who had been taken on to per- 
form the heavy work of the vessel so long as she should be in 
the hot country. In the morning I found that these black boys 
were Ejrumen from Liberia; they pointed out the shores of 
their country as we sailed by and told me of their people and 
their life. The captain of our steamer was an Englishman; he 
took great satisfaction in telling stories which showed his con- 
tempt for the little black republic and its rulers. It was his 
custom to laugh at their port regulations, to evade their customs 
laws, to insult their officers. Months later, in returning from 
the Kongo Free State, I sat at table next to a ship's officer 
who was never tired of telling of Sir Harry Johnston's great 
scheme of Liberian exploitation; matters were all arranged for 
Britain to gain the advantage which the wealth of Liberia 
offers. When we reached London, I found the windows of book 
stores filled with Sir Harry's great work upon Liberia, and 
considerable public interest in the subject. 

It was these three things which turned my interest toward 
Liberia and led me to think of making an expedition to that 
country. I wanted to see the Kru boys at home; I wanted to 
see just how much of a failure the black republic is; I wanted 
to see how the English plans of exploitation worked out. It 
was, however, several years before I was able to make that 



234 LIBEBU^ 

in construction. Here another brilliant lettering proclaimed 
* * A Hearty Welcome to You. ' » The building is to be of wood 
with corrugated iron roofing; it is not yet covered in, but prom- 
ises to be a fine and suitable structure. Only the side verandah 
was usable; it was covered in and adorned with palms in honor 
of the occasion. The boys and young men were seated on two 
lines of benches facing, between wluch we walked up to the 
speaker's table. There were perhaps forty students present. 
They carried through a little program — treading, singing and 
addresses, all carri^ through with fine swing and vigor. The 
address of welcome was given in good English by a Sussa boy. 
In some interesting and appropriate remarks Major Young 
spoke to the boys of the life and lesson of Alexander Crununell, 
in whose honor the hall was named and whom he himself had 
known. It was now well on in the afternoon and time for us 
to start on our return journey. This was rapidly accomplished 
as the current was in our favor and we tied up at the landing 
in Monrovia at 6:30, with stars twinkling in the sky above us 
and town lights reflected in the water below. 

Bishop Ferguson had invited me to see the Kru service on 
a Sunday afternoon. Two Kru men called to escort me to the 
little chapel, which is situated on a rocky slope overhanging 
Krutown. The native settlement is at the waterside, upon the 
low sandy beach; its population, houses and life are purely 
native. Down there they speak Kruj men and boys all know 
English ; some women and girls do. It is a hardy, vigorous, en- 
ergetic population. The men are water folk; they are splendid 
canoe men ; they are the main dependence of the steamers, which 
they serve as crews and wharfingers. When we arrived at the 
little chapel we found it crowd^; more than a hundred men, 
women and children were assembled. The women were a sight 
for tired eyes, with their brilliant wrappings, gay head bands 
and ring-loaded fingers. Few Liberians were present — ^Biriiop 
and Mrs. Ferguson, Superintendent Bright and a few teachers. 
Pastor McKrae is native — ^but a Grebo, not a Kru. The two 
tribes are related and their languages are very similar. I was 
warmly welcomed and an interesting program of singing and 
recitation was carried out — all in Kru except the Bishop 's intro- 
duction and my own remarks, which were interpreted from 
English into Kru as we spoke. These people are enthusiastic; 
they are interested in their chapel and contribute to its support ; 
they are crowded in their present quarters and are about to 
raise a larger and finer building. 

I had intended to see the work at Gape Palmas, but it was 
impossible for me to go there. For that at Bromley, Clay- 
Ashland and Kru chapel I have only words of praise. My own 
opinion is that Liberia 's greatest asset is the native. He exists 
in a score of independent tribes and counts a million souls. If 
the little black republic is to hold its own, if it is to remain a 
nation among nations, if it is to lead the way to African re- 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 235 

demption, there must be a mutual realization by Liberians and 
Natives of their common interest, and a hearty co-operation. 
The burden is too heavy for the Liberian alone. In Bishop 
Fer^^son's work there is the nearest approach to tolerance, 
anion, brotherhood and mutual helpfulness seen during my 
expedition. 

liberia, the hope of the dark 

Continent. 

( Unity. March 20, 1913. ) 

An address given at All Souls Church, Abraham Lincoln 
Centre, Chicago, March 9, 191S. As this contains little that 
is not contained in the next item, and nothing hut what 
occurs in the body of the hook, it is not reprinted here, 

WHAT LIBERIA NEEDS. 
(The Independent. April 3, 1913.) 

In 1905 I sailed from Antwerp to the mouth of the Kongo 
Biver. When we reached Freetown, Sierra Leone, we spent sev- 
eral hours on shore. On returning to the steamer we found all 
greatly changed; the white crew was laid off and the steamer 
was swarming with black boys who had been taken on to per- 
form the heavy work of the vessel so long as she should be in 
the hot country. In the morning I found that these black boys 
were Krumen from Liberia; they pointed out the shores of 
their country as we sailed by and told me of their people and 
their life. The captain of our steamer was an Englishman; he 
took great satisfaction in telling stories which showed his con- 
tempt for the little black republic and its rulers. It was his 
custom to laugh at their port regulations, to evade their customs 
laws, to insult their officers. Months later, in returning from 
the Kongo Free State, I sat at table next to a ship's officer 
who was never tired of telling of Sir Harry Johnston's great 
scheme of Liberian exploitation; matters were all arranged for 
Britain to gain the advantage which the wealth of Liberia 
offers. When we reached London, I found the windows of book 
stores filled with Sir Harry's great work upon Liberia, and 
considerable public interest in the subject. 

It was these three things which turned my interest toward 
Liberia and led me to think of making an expedition to that 
country. I wanted to see the Kru boys at home; I wanted to 
see just how much of a failure the black republic is; I wanted 
to see how the English plans of exploitation worked out. It 
was, however, several years before I was able to make that 



236 LIBERU. 

journey. I have just returned and found much more of interest 
than I anticipated. 

It is now almost one hundred years since the American Ck>l- 
onization Society was established and sent its first freed negro 
settlers to the West Coast of Africa; it is almost seyenty years 
since, in 1847, the society severed its relation with the colonists 
and urged them to establish an independent form of govern- 
ment. We^ have no right to take any great amount of credit to 
ourselves for the original establishment; it was less from 
philanthropy or altruism than from selfishness that we began 
the colony; it was because we did not want freed blacks living 
among white Americans that we sent them to Africa. There 
have been various times during the period of Liberia's history 
when we might have helped her greatly; we have never quite 
forgotten our obligations, but we have never done all that we 
might for her benefit and profit. 

It is not fair to establish a direct comparison between 
Liberia and any European colony upon the West Coast of 
Africa. It is not just, for instance, to take Dakar or Free- 
town and compare them with Monrovia. Senegal and Sierra 
Leone have had great advantages which have l^n lacking in 
Liberia. Those colonies have had the constant aid and sym- 
pathy of a mother country; they have been developed with the 
aid of vast home capital; they have had the protection of well 
organized armies against internal foes and external aggression; 
they have had chosen men sent out as governors who have given 
them advice, encouragement, instruction. Liberia has h^ to 
stand alone; her population was largely ignorant persons, de- 
spised, recently emerged from slavery; she has had no interest 
of a mother country ; she has had no capital with which to push 
development ; she has had no means of protection against native 
tribes or crowding neighbors; she has had to train governors 
from her own population, who have had to learn the business of 
government tlurough personal experience. When this marked 
difference in opportunity and material is realized, the wonder 
is that Liberia has been able to make any real achievement. 
As a matter of fact, while the direct comparison is most unjust, 
it can be made without serious discredit to Liberia. The stand- 
ard of living, the average comfort, the construction of houses 
and other buUdings in Liberia, falls little short of those in 
Freetown, if at all; of course, when it comes to public enter- 
prises — ^harbor improvements, governmental offices, etc. — ^the 
European colony has notable advantage. In reality, Liberian 
achievement is marvelous in the face of all the difficulties with 
which the country has had to contend. Far from being a dismal 
failure, Liberia has proved an astonishing success. For more 
than sixty years her officers have been pitted against the skilled 
politicians of European countries; they have had to fight in 
diplomatic warfare with Great Britain, France and (Germany. 
The wonder is that she was not long since wiped off the map. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 237 

In 1908, a commission of Liberians was sent to beg assistance 
from the United States. Through a period of years she had 
lost land, first to Great Britain, then to France, both of which 
own adjacent territory; her commerce had been hampered by 
British schemers who desired to prevent her development until 
they themselves should control its results; she had been forced 
twice to borrow money from Great Britain — and both times had 
paid heavily for scant accommodation. Bobbed of land, crip- 
pled in development, heavily in debt to a pressing creditor, a 
erins had been reached in her affairs. The United States heard 
the appeal and answered; a commission of investigation visited 
Liberia and made a definite report, advising certain lines of aid. 
We have acted upon some of their recommendations. We have 
expreeNBed to Great Britain, (Germany and France our special 
interest in Liberian affairs; we have lent her colored officers 
to aid in training a native force ; we have come to her financial 
relief, paying her past debts and taking over the administration 
of her customs houses. 

The population of Liberia consists of three main elements: 
there are about 12,000 civilized and Christian blacks, descend- 
ants of American freed negroes, whom we may call Americo- 
Liberians, or Liberians proper; there are perhaps 30,000 coast 
natives, who speak English and have come into frequent contact 
with Idberians and the outside world; there are perhaps one 
million "natives," living in the interior, "bush niggers," most 
of whom speak only native tongues and are pagan in religion. 
The Liberians live in a few settlements near the coast, or sdong 
the rivers, a few miles inland. The natives consist of a score 
or more of different tribes, living in little villages, each tribe 
having its own language, its independent chiefs, its characteris- 
tic life and customs. Sir Harry Johnston says that the interior 
of Liberia is the least known part of Africa. Many of these 
native tribes still practice cannibalism, all of them are polyg- 
amist, and domestic slavery exists among them. The relation 
between them and the Liberians proper is almost nil. The area 
of Liberia even now is larger than the State of Ohio and not 
much less than that of Pennsylvania. If we were to take the 
town of Bellaire, Ohio, and divide its little population into about 
a dossen towns along the Ohio Biver, and were then to sprinkle 
the whole State of Ohio with villages of Indians, totaling one 
million, speaking a score of different dialects, and recognizing 
no control except that of their local chiefs, we should have 
aomethmg analogous to the Liberian situation. If, now, this 
population of Bellaire were to figure as an independent nation 
among the world's governments, think what a burden this would 
entafl upon it. Liberia elects a President, Vice-President, 
Senators and Representatives; its President has a Cabinet, each 
member with his own department of government; it maintains 
a Supreme Court, with a bench of judges; it has consuls, some 
wHli diplomatic powers, in many of the nations of the world. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 

THE LIBERIAN CRISIS. 

( Unity, March 25, 1909. ) 

In closing my The Truth about the Congo, I said: "If it 
is necessary for us as a nation to look for African adventure; 
if to give a strenuous President the feeling that he is 'doing 
something ' we must meddle in the affairs of the Dark Continent, 
there is a district where we might intervene with more of reason 
and consistency and grace than we are doing by going to the 
Congo. We onoe established on African soil, whether wisely or 
not I do not intend to discuss, a free republic for the blacks. 
In Liberia we have an American enterprise, pure and simple. 
It has not been a great success. It is just possible — ^though I 
doubt it — ^that Liberia would at several times have profited and 
been advantaged by our instruction and interest. But it seems 
to possess little interest for us. Just now, like the Congo, it 
is attracting British attention. Whether it has large or little 
value, whether it possesses great opportunities or not, it is now 
a center of interest to Great Britain. She does not need our 
help in pulling chestnuts from the fire there, and there has been 
strange silence and ignorance in this country regarding it as a 
new sphere for English influence. If we assist England in ex- 
panding her African possessions at the expense of the Congo 
Free State, Liberia will be the next fraction of Africa to suc- 
cumb to English rule. England's methods of. procedure are 
various. It might be a useful lesson for our statesmen and 
politicians to study Liberia's prospects with care. We are still 
young in the business of grabbing other people's lands. Eng- 
land could teach us many lessons. The latest one may well be 
worthy of our attention, since, in a certain sense, it deals with 
a district where we naturally possess an interest." 

At the time, these suggestions caused some surprise. Amer- 
icans were (and are) totally ignorant regarding Liberia and 
felt that my remarks were due to prejudice. I have no preju- 
dice against England, from which my ancestry chiefly came. A 
few months have proved the truth of my predictions. In May 
last a Commission appointed by the Liberian government called 
upon President Boosevelt and begged the intervention of the 
United States for the purpose of guaranteeing independence 
and "integrity against the encroachments of powerful Euro- 

229 



230 LIBEBU. 

pean governments." Among the reasonable ideas urged by 
this Ck)nmiis8ion was that disputes between Liberia and France, 
Germany and England should be settled by arbitration and not 
by a resort to force. We wisely refused to establish a protect- 
orate over Liberia, but our government agreed to use its good 
offices with England, France and Germany. Considerable corre- 
spondence seems to have taken place and some interest relative 
to Liberia has been aroused. But on the whole no serious 
progress has been made and a few days since the newspa][>ers 
contained the following item: 

* * Washington, D. C, Feb. 12. — Gable advices received at the 
state department today indicate that a climax has been reached 
in the Liberian situation. Conditions are grave, and great alarm 
is felt by foreign officials in Liberian employ. 

''A British gunboat has arrived to afford protection to 
foreign interests and a company of soldiers has been sent from 
Sierra Leone to the capitol at Monrovia for the same purpose. 
Apparently great despondency is entertained ^ to the ability 
of the government to maintain itself and as to the future of 
Liberia as a nation." 

The notice closed with these words : 

' ' The cable today called attention to the effort of the state 
department, inaugurated by Secretary Boot, to secure an appro- 
priation of $20,000 to enable the president to send to Liberia 
a commission with a view to reporting^recommendations as to 
the specific action this government should take which would 
constitute the most effective measures of relief. Secretary Boot 
anticipated the development of conditions which would menace 
seriously the future of Liberia, which was established as a direct 
result of the action, first, of American citizens, and, secondly, of 
the government of the United States. ' ' 

What can we dof What should we dof First; we should 
notify Great Britain, France and Germany that encroachment 
apon Liberian sovereignty will be considered an unfriendly act 
by us; that coercion ought not to be used in the collection of 
debts, even though Liberia did not take part in the Hague Con- 
ference of 1907. Second ; we should use our good offices to bring 
about definite arrangements between Liberia and the European 
nations for arbitration of all points at issue between them. 
Third; we should under no circumstances attempt to make a 
model government for her, nor should we insist upon reforms 
along our lines, but we should appoint an advisory comonission 
of thoughtful and well-balanced men, who shall thoroughly in- 
vestigate conditions and stand ready to give asked advice when 
needful upon points of importance. This commission should be 
retained for several years and should be non-partisan. So much 
we can and should do. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 231 

THE NEEDS OF LIBERIA. 
(The Open Court. March, 1913.) 

The situation of Liberia is critical. Her losg-troubling 
boundary questions with Great Britain and France are not per- 
manently settled; they have 1;»een re-opened and both countries 
are pressing. 

We did well to come to her financial aid; but we did badly in 
needlessly inflicting upon her an expensive and complioatjed 
international receivership instead of an economical, simple and 
national one. 

Liberia's crying needs are: 

a. Training of her native frontier force to protect her 
boundaries and maintain order there; 

h. Development of existing trails, with their ultimate trans- 
formation into roads and railroad beds; 

0. Bestoration and development of agriculture — ^now 
neglected ; 

d. Education, especially along lines of manual and tech- 
nical training. 

Liberia's greatest asset is her native population; only by 
imbuing it with the feeling of common interest and by securing 
its hearty co-operation can the government of Africa's only 
republic hope to maintain itself and prosper. 

A SOJOURNER IN LIBERIA. 

{The SpiHt of Missions. April, 1913.) 

Anxious to see all possible of Liberia, we gladly accepted 
Bishop Ferguson's invitation to visit Bromley and to inspect 
the work done at the Julia G. Emery Hall. On reaching tiie 
landing at Monrovia at 8 a. m. we found the mission steamer, 
the John Payne, ready. Our party consisted of ex-President 
Barclay, ex-Postmaster-General Blount, Justice T. McCants 
Stewart of the Supreme Court, Major Young, U. S. A., militaiy 
attach^ of the American Legation, Mayor Johnson, the Bev. 
Mr. Gassell and Bishop Ferguson — ^all residents of Liberia — 
my photographer and myself. He and I were the only white 
men. Of the colored men some were born in Liberia, others in 
the United States — North and South — one at least in the British 
West Indies. Ex-President Arthur Barclay is by many consid- 
ered to be the ablest man of Liberia ; he has had a wide experi- 
ence and has gained exceptional knowledge of Liberian needs 
and problems. Mayor Johnson is one of the sons of the late 
President Johnson, who was the first ''son of the soil" to oc- 
cupy the presidential chair of the ne^o republic. Bishop 
Ferguson, born in South Carolina, has lived so many years in 
Cape Palmas and Monrovia that no one ever thinks of him as 



232 LIBBRIA. 

aught but a Liberian. He is a man of energy and ideas and 
his work speaks for his efficiency. We were soon off, and for 
three hours steamed up the river, a typical, tropical African 
stream. A dense tangle of mangroves extends far out from the 
shore on both sides, over the water, completely concealing the 
actual land; the trunks rise from pyramids of exposed roots; 
from the branches, slender shoots, round-tipped, strike vertically 
down, penetrate the water, force their way into the soft, oozy 
mud of the river bottom, take root and aid in spreading the 
tangled growth still further out over the water. Here and there 
straight gashes are cut into this mass of crowded trees to serve 
as limding-channels for native canoes. The first part of our 
journey was up a branch stream, the St. Paul's Biver branching 
near its mouth and entering the sea by more than the single 
outlet. As we approached the main river, the mangrove thicket 
thinned, and the most striking feature in the vegetation was 
the dragon-palm. It, too, rises from a pyramidal mass of ex- 
posed roots, but in form and foliage it is totidly unlike the man- 
grove; its long narrow leaves lead to its being often called 
the sword-palm. Here we could often look back over the land, 
and saw oil-palms with their delicate, graceful crowns outlined 
against the blue sky — ^truly blue sky, for by October 15 the 
period of rains is practically over. We had passed settlements, 
here and there, upon the way ; single houses of ' ' liberians, ' ' or 
little clusters of ''native'' huts; New Georgia, on our right, 
is quite a village but seems to bear an indifferent reputation — 
due ][>erhaps to its history; it was settled with slaves rescued 
from slaving-vessels and such slaves were rarely considered as 
equals, in the old days, by the colonists. 

When we reached the main river, the whole character of the 
scenery changed. The river itself was wider; the banks were 
cleaner and the flat land stood higher; the mangrove swamps 
disappeared; plantations showing considerable attention were 
to be seen here and there. While we had chatted and viewed 
the scene the Bishop had not been idle, and the smiling black 
boy now passed an abundant supply of sandwiches and sliced 
cake, daintily wrapped in paper and tied with narrow ribbons, 
all prepared beforehand by Mrs. Ferguson. Served with lemon 
and strawberry soda-water they were a welcome refreshment. 

We had been so fully occupied that we had hardly noticed 
that three hours had passed when we saw Bromley ahead. The 
building stands on a level terrace well above the river. It is 
said to be the largest in Liberia ; whether so 'or not, it is a 
spacious, plain, well-built construction, admirably adapted to 
its purpose. Its architect and master builder, Mr, Scott, met 
us at the landing. He is a native of pure blood, a Grebo from 
Gape PsJmas district. He has never been outside of Liberia 
and has had to gain his knowledge and experience as he best 
could. He has had correspondence instruction from an Ameri- 
can school and finds it of advantage. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 233 

The building is known as the Julia 0. Emery Hall and serves 
as a girls ' school. The parlor is a fine room and upon its walls 
are displayed interesting cuts, portraits and documents, all. 
relative to national, racial and mission history. We were shown 
through the building from tower — ^whence a splendid view over 
the river is to be had — ^to cellar. It is well equipped— dormi- 
tories, school rooms, chapel, dining room, kitchen, washrooms, 
storerooms — ^all suitable and neat and clean. Seventy girls are 
in attendance. There are not beds for all the children, perhaps 
not for more than half of them ; half of the children sleep upon 
the floor on mats. This is no special hardship, as they are 
used to it ; in my own opinion they are quite as well off without 
beds. 

The girls form two groups — the large girls dressed in blue 
and white and the little girls dressed in pink and white. They 
seem neat and happy. They rendered a program for us which 
would have done credit to any teaching here at home: 

Singing— <* He Who Safely Keepeth'* ..School 

Becitation — * ' The Burden' ' Miss Jahlamae 

Singing — * * Sweet and Low' ' 

Misses Nichols, Gibson, Tucker, Wisner 

Dialogue — ' * Patience " A class 

Singing— *« Wider Than the Ocean" School 

Becitation— ** The Echo" A class 

Becitation— '* The Hurry Order" Miss Wood 

Singing — * * Those Eternal Bowers " School 

Becitation — ^**Genesis, Chap. XLIX" A class 

Becitation — * * The Chambered Nautilus " Miss Wright 

Becitation — ' ' Jephtha 's Daughter " Miss Muhlenberg 

Singing^*'The Whole Wide World" School 

It is particularly interesting to see the harmony and friend- 
ship here. Some of the girls are Liberians, but there are also 
native girls from various parts of the country and from various 
tribes-^olas, Krus, Grebos. We went to the dining room, 
which had been cleared, and the girls went through with a calis- 
thenic drill, which was beautifully rendered. Mrs. Moort is in 
charge of the school and deserves much credit for its satisfac- 
tory condition. After this drill was over we sat down to a 
table loaded with good things, and some of the larger girls aided 
in the serving. One of the aims of the school is to teach work 
and housekeeping. The school property includes two hundred 
acres of land, which will supply much of the food needed in 
school and provide opportunity for instruction in gardening. 

The Bishop stated that we must not tarry, as we were ex- 
pected at Clay- Ashland. A half hour by steamer brought us to 
its landing, where the resident clergyman, Mr. Cooper, son-in- 
law of Bishop Ferguson, met us. We walked up through a 
straggling settlement to the little church, near which a sign in 
brilUant lettering announced ' * Welcome. ' * Here we turned to 
the right and in a moment reached Alexander Crummell Hall, 



234 LIBEBU^ 

in construction. Here another brilliant lettering proclaimed 
* ' A Hearty Welcome to You. ' ' The building is to be of wood 
with corrugated iron roofing; it is not yet covered in, but prom- 
ises to be a fine and suitable structure. Only the side verandah 
was usable; it was covered in and adorned with palms in honor 
of the occasion. The boys and young men were seated on two 
lines of benches facing, between wluch we walked up to the 
speaker's table. There were perhaps forty students present. 
They carried through a little program — treading, singing and 
addresses, all carri^ through with fine swing and vigor. The 
address of welcome was given in good English by a Bassa boy. 
In some interesting and appropriate remarks Major Young 
spoke to the boys of the life and lesson of Alexander Crummell, 
in whose honor the hall was named and whom he himself had 
known. It was now well on in the afternoon and time for us 
to start on our return journey. This was rapidly accomplished 
as the current was in our favor and we tied up at the landing 
in Monrovia at 6:30, with stars twinkling in the sky above us 
and town lights reflected in the water below. 

Bishop Ferguson had invited me to see the Kru service on 
a Sunday afternoon. Two Kru men called to escort me to the 
little chapel, which is situated on a rocky slope overhanging 
Krutown. The native settlement is at the waterside, upon the 
low sandy beach; its population, houses and life are purely 
native. Down there they speak Kruj men and boys all know 
English ; some women and girls do. It is a hardy, vigorous, en- 
ergetic population. The men are water folk; they are splendid 
canoe men ; they are the main dependence of the steamers, which 
they serve as crews and wharfingers. When we arrived at the 
little chapel we found it crowded; more than a hundred men, 
women and children were assembled. The women were a sight 
for tired eyes, with their brilliant wrappings, gay head bands 
and ring-loaded fingers. Few Liberians were present — ^Bishop 
and Mrs. Ferguson, Superintendent Bright and a few teachers. 
Pastor McKrae is native — but a Grebo, not a Kru. The two 
tribes are related and their languages are very similar. I was 
warmly welcomed and an interesting program of singing and 
recitation was carried out — all in Kru except the Bishop 's intro- 
duction and my own remarks, which were interpreted from 
English into Kru as we spoke. These people are enthusiastic; 
they are interested in their chapel and contribute to its support ; 
they are crowded in their present quarters and are about to 
raise a larger and finer building. 

I had intended to see the work at Gape Palmas, but it was 
impossible for me to go there. For that at Bromley, Clay- 
AE^dand and Kru chapel I have only words of praise. My own 
opinion is that Liberia 's greatest asset is the native. He exists 
in a score of independent tribes and counts a million souls. If 
the little black republic is to hold its own, if it is to remain a 
nation among nations, if it is to lead the way to African re- 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 235 

demption, there must be a mutual realization by Liberians and 
Natives of their common interest, and a hearty co-operation. 
The burden is too heavy for the Liberian alone. In Bishop 
Fer^^son's work there is the nearest approach to tolerance, 
union, brotherhood and mutual helpfulness seen during my 
expedition. 

liberia, the hope of the dark 

Continent. 

( Unity. March 20, 1913. ) 

An address given at All Souls Church, Abraham Lincoln 
Centre, Chicago, March 9, 191S. As this contains little that 
is not contained in the next item, and nothing hut what 
occurs in the body of the hook, it is not reprinted here, 

WHAT LIBERIA NEEDS. 
(The Independent. April 3, 1913.) 

In 1905 I sailed from Antwerp to the mouth of the Kongo 
Biver. When we reached Freetown, Sierra Leone, we spent sev- 
eral hours on shore. On returning to the steamer we found all 
greatly changed; the white crew was laid off and the steamer 
was swarming with black boys who had been taken on to per- 
form the heavy work of the vessel so long as she should be in 
the hot country. In the morning I found that these black boys 
were Krumen from Ldberia; they pointed out the shores of 
their country as we sailed by and told me of their people and 
their Ufe. The captain of our steamer was an Englishman; he 
took great satisfaction in telling stories which showed his con- 
tempt for the little black republic and its rulers. It was his 
custom to laugh at their port regulations, to evade their customs 
laws, to insult their officers. Months later, in returning from 
the Kongo Free State, I sat at table next to a ship's officer 
who was never tired of telling of Sir Harry Johnston's great 
scheme of Liberian exploitation; matters were all arranged for 
Britain to gain the advantage which the wealth of Liberia 
offers. When we reached London, I found the windows of book 
stores filled with Sir Harry's great work upon Liberia, and 
considerable public interest in the subject. 

It was these three things which turned my interest toward 
Liberia and led me to think of making an expedition to that 
country. I wanted to see the Kru boys at home; I wanted to 
see just how much of a failure the black republic is; I wanted 
to see how the English plans of exploitation worked out. It 
was, however, several years before I was able to make that 



236 LIBERIA. 

journey. I have just returned and found much more of interest 
than I anticipated. 

It is now almost one hundred years since the American Ck>l- 
onization Society was established and sent its first freed negro 
settlers to the West Coast of A:frica; it is almost seyenty years 
since, in 1847, the society severed its relation with the colonists 
and urged them to establish an independent form of goyem- 
ment. We^ have no right to take any great amount of credit to 
ourselves for the original establishment; it was less from 
philanthropy or altruism than from selfishness that we began 
the colony; it was because we did not want freed blacks living 
among white Americans that we sent them to Africa. There 
have been various times during the period of Liberia's history 
when we might have helped her greatly; we have never quite 
forgotten our obligations, but we have never done all that we 
might for her benefit and profit. 

It is not fair to establish a direct comparison between 
Liberia and any European colony upon the West Coast of 
Africa. It is not just, for instance, to take Dakar or Free- 
town and compare them with Monrovia. Senegal and Sierra 
Leone have had great advantages which have l^n lacking in 
Liberia. Those colonies have had the constant aid and sym- 
pathy of a mother country; they have been developed with the 
aid of vast home capital; they have had the protection of well 
organized armies against internal foes and external aggression; 
they have had chosen men sent out as governors who have given 
them advice, encouragement, instruction. Liberia has h^ to 
stand alone; her population was largely ignorant persons, de- 
spised, recently emerged from slavery; she has had no interest 
of a mother country; she has had no capital with which to purii 
development ; she has had no means of protection against native 
tribes or crowding neighbors; she has had to train governors 
from her own population, who have had to learn the business of 
government through personal experience. When this marked 
difference in opportunity and material is realized, the wonder 
is that Liberia has been able to make any real achievement. 
As a matter of fact, while the direct comparison is most unjust, 
it can be made without serious discredit to Liberia. The stand- 
ard of living, the average comfort, the construction of houses 
and other buildings in Liberia, falls little short of those in 
Freetown, if at all; of course, when it comes to public enter- 
prises — ^harbor improvements, governmental offices, etc. — ^the 
European colony has notable advantage. In reality, Liberian 
achievement is marvelous in the face of all the difficulties with 
which the country has had to contend. Far from being a dismal 
failure, Liberia has proved an astonishing success. For more 
than sixty years her officers have been pitted against the sldlled 
politicians of European countries; they have had to fight in 
diplomatic warfare with Great Britain, France and (Germany. 
The wonder is that she was not long since wiped off the map. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 237 

In 1908, a commission of Liberians was sent to beg assistance 
from the United States. Through a period of years she had 
lost land, first to Great Britain, then to France, both of which 
own adjacent territory; her commerce had been hampered by 
British schemers who desired to prevent her development until 
they themselves should control its results; she had been forced 
twice to borrow money from Great Britain — ^and both times had 
paid heavily for scant accommodation. Bobbed of land, crip- 
pled in development, heavily in debt to a pressing creditor, a 
crisis had been reached in her affairs. The United States heard 
the appeal and answered; a commission of investigation visited 
Liberia and made a definite report, advising certain lines of aid. 
We have acted upon some of their recommendations. We have 
expressed to Great Britain, (Germany and France our special 
interest in Liberian affairs; we have lent her colored officers 
to aid in training a native force ; we have come to her financial 
relief, paying her past debts and taking over the administration 
of her customs houses. 

The population of Liberia consists of three main elements: 
there are about 12,000 civilized and Christian blacks, descend- 
ants of American freed negroes, whom we may call Amerieo- 
Liberians, or Liberians proper; there are perhaps 30,000 coast 
natives, who speak English and have come into frequent contact 
with Liberians and the outside world; there are perhaps one 
million ** natives," living in the interior, *'bush niggers," most 
of whom speak only native tongues and are pagan in religion. 
The Liberians live in a few settlements near the coast, or sdong 
the rivers, a few miles inland. The natives consist of a score 
or more of different tribes, living in little villages, each tribe 
having its own language, its independent chiefs, its characteris- 
tic life and customs. Sir Harry Johnston says that the interior 
of Liberia is the least known part of Africa. Many of these 
native tribes still practice cannibalism, all of them are polyg- 
amisfc, and domestic slavery exists among them. The relation 
between them and the Liberians proper is almost nil. The area 
of Liberia even now is larger than the State of Ohio and not 
much less than that of Pennsylvania. If we were to take the 
town of Bellaire, Ohio, and divide its little population into about 
a dozen towns along the Ohio Biver, and were then to sprinkle 
the whole State of Ohio with villages of Indians, totaling one 
million, speaking a score of different dialects, and reco^iizing 
no control except that of their local chiefs, we should have 
something analogous to the Liberian situation. If, now, this 
population of Bellaire were to figure as an independent nation 
among the world 's governments, think what a burden this would 
entail upon it. Liberia elects a President, Vice-President, 
Senators and Representatives; its President has a Cabinet, each 
member with his own department of government; it maintains 
a Supreme Court, with a bench of judges; it has consuls, some 
with diplomatic powers, in many of the nations of the world. 



238 LIBERIA. 

Would we be able in any town of 12,000 people in the United 
States to find such a corps of men of competeneef As a nation, 
with privileges and obligations, Liberia must not only maintain 
this nations3 government, but it must keep order over its whole 
area and prevent its million bush natives from troubling its 
neighbors. It is on the plea that Liberia is incapable of main- 
taining order that France and Great Britain are constantly 
crowding upon her frontiers ; it is a fact that to prevent aggres- 
sion from outside she must maintain order within. 

We must not imagine that neighborly aggression has ceased 
because we spoke. New boundary questions have lately arisen, 
both with Great Britain and France, and it looks as if th^ were 
getting ready to demand a new slice of territory. One of the 
crying needs of Liberia is to have a native frontier force, well 
dnlled, ready to protect and maintain order at her boundary. 
Such a force has been organized; it has been in existence for 
several years; just at present it is being drilled under three 
young colored officers wnom we have sent within the past year 
to Monrovia — Major Ballard, Captain Brown and Captain New- 
ton. These men now bear commissions from the Liberian Gov- 
ernment and are paid by it. The force will be developed to 600 
soldiers; it is rather easy to collect them; they come from many 
of the interior tribes and, when they are enlisted, know no 
Englidi; they seem to enjoy the life of soldiers and rapidUy im- 
prove until in their conduct and drilling they present a credit- 
able appearance. When actually disciplined, so that they will 
not loot or cause distress when marching through a district of 
non-combatants, they should be a great advantage to the nation. 
Unfortunately, the Liberian Government is frequently in finan- 
cial difficulties and the pay of these soldiers falls into arrears. 
There is always serious danger that, under such circumstances, 
the discontented force may arise against the Government and 
cause difficulties. 

We did well to come to the financial relief of Liberia, but 
we did badly in the details of our method. The total debts 
were about $1,300,000: we arranged for a loan to her of 
$1,700,000; this would enable her to pay off all obligations, to 
have some ready funds left over, and to have a single, friendly 
creditor. Before securing this loan we insisted upon a receiver- 
ship. It would have been a simple matter for us to have simply 
appointed a receiver of customs and leave the administration of 
affairs in his hands, as we did in Santo Domingo. Had we done 
so, it is unlikely that any other nation would have found fault; 
if any nation should have criticised the action, we could with 
consistency insist that we stand in a peculiar relation to Liberia 
and that the loan is too small to warrant great expense in the 
handling of the business connected with it. What we really did 
was to recognize fictitious interests of other nations in the mat- 
ter; we arranged for an international receivership; instead of 
one American receiver we proposed four receivers — ^American, 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 239 

French, English, German. Inannuch as the impoverished Ck>T- 
emment has to pay handsome salaries to all four, the plan was 
anything but economical; the dangers of difficulty and disagree- 
ment between the members of this international receivership 
are considerable. Surely instead of inflicting an expensive and 
complicated intematioiuil receivership upon the country, we 
should have arranged for an economical, simple national 
receiver. 

There is no question that Liberia has great natural wealth; 
her resources are yet almost untouched; she is the only part of 
the whole West Coast where large returns are certain for small 
investment. In order to secure her wealth of products, it is 
absolutely necessary that trails be opened up through the inte- 
rior. Tirails, of course, already exist, but under present condi- 
tions they are frequently intentionally neglected; little chiefs 
do not want too easy contact with the outside world. It is 
absolutely necessary, if Liberia is to advance, that the good will 
of the chiefs shall be secured and that all trails shall be kept 
open. In no other way can the produce of the forests find its 
way down to the coast. Foot trails, of course, are of limited 
utility, and as rapidly as they are improved they should become 
actuid roads, presumably to be themselves developed in time 
into roadbeds for light railroads. It is only by &e improve- 
ment of means of transportation that the Liberian Government 
can hope to increase its income, which comes almost entirely 
from trade. 

For the present, and undoubtedly for some time to come, the 
chief source of income for the country must be by trade in 
natural products, collected in the forests. It is time, however, 
that serious effort should be made to develop the actual agri- 
cultural opportunities of Liberia. With a rich soil, abuncUint 
rainfall, tropical temperature, vegetation flourishes. Liberia 
should produce vast quantities of rice, com, cotton, sugar, sweet 
potatoes, yams, bananas, plantains, ginger, coffee, cocoa, pine- 
apples and other tropical fruits. There is no reason why in 
many parts of the country cattle, goats and sheep should not be 
raised in quantities. At present, a very large amount of food- 
stuffs is introduced from the outside world; fresh meat is to 
be had only when steamers pass; rice, even — of which the natives 
raise quantities — ^is imported. Formerly considerable coffee 
was exported; the coffee tree grows wild fmd is probably a 
native of the country, and Liberian coffee has a fair reputation 
in the foreign market ; at present, very little is exported. It is 
curious that agriculture has never been a favorite occupation 
with the people. As long ago as 1826 and 1827 the famous agent 
of the colony, Jehudi Ashmun, complained bitterly that the 
people all desired to trade instead of to practice hand labor and 
develop agriculture. It is certain that if it is to be permanently 
prosperous, Liberia must encourage agricultural pursuits. It was 
natural enough that freed slaves diould look upon manual trades 



240 LIBERIA. 

and field labor as contemptible; that they should look upon 
barter and trade as desirable. Unfortunately, at the time of 
colonization it was easy for men to trade. This dislike for 
actual labor continues to the present day; it is possible to hire 
bush natives to do the absolutely necessary heavy labor very 
cheaply. In Liberian houses great numbers of native servants 
are employed. Trade and politics absorb the thought and time 
of the best men in the community. It is going to be a difficult 
task to place agriculture and hand labor upon a proper footing, 
but it must be done and soon. 

We must not expect much more in the direction of education 
than we would find in our own country towns of six or seven 
thousand people. There are actually not many schools in the 
republic. The superintendent of education is a member of the 
Cabinet. The present incumbent is a native — a Bassa. He has 
general supervision of some ninety-one schools, in which number 
night schools and mission schools are included. The highest 
institution of public education is Liberia College, at Monrovia. 
It has done good work and most of the men of prominence in 
the Government to-day are graduates from it. It has, however, 
little more than the teaching force and equipment of a high 
school in one of our smaller towns. It needs strengthening in 
every way. New schools should be established, especially in the 
country among the native tribes, and special schools of agricul- 
ture and manual training are a crying need. President Howard, 
in his inaugural address in 1912, recognized the necessity of 
prompt development in education and agriculture. Besides 
Liberia College, there is in Monrovia the College of West Africa. 
This is a Methodist mission school, doing an excellent work for 
both Liberian and native students. There are also important 
Episcopal schools on the St. Paul 's Biver, and in the neighbor- 
hood of Cape Palmas. 

The President of the republic was kind enough to give a 
reception in my honor. On that occasion I was asked to make a 
few remarks regarding Liberia. I stated that in my opinion 
Liberia's greatest asset is her native population. Twelve thou- 
sand people, no matter how inerested, wise and industrious, 
cannot possibly carry the entire burden. If Liberia is to prosper 
in the future, it can only be because the Liberians secure the 
hearty cooperation and friendly feeling of the million natives. 
If they can be shown that their interest and development are to 
be gained only through friendship to and recognition of the 
(Government, the prosperity and success of Liberia may be 
secured and her independence maintained. 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 241 

SHOULD THE AFRICAN MISSION BE 

ABANDONED. 

( The Spirit of Missions. August, 1913. ) 

The development of the Church mission in Liberia has been 
most encouraging. It began in March, 1836, when James M. 
Thompson, a colored man, opened a mission school at Mount 
Vaughan with seven native children. It has grown until, in 
his last report. Bishop Ferguson stated that there were 26 
clergymen, 8 candidates for holy orders, 2 postulants, 25 lay 
teachers, and 46 catechists and teachers. During the year of 
1912, 242 children and 237 adults had been baptized — 423 of 
them being converts from heathenism. During the year there 
were 165 confirmations. The grand total of baptisms to date 
was 9,565; the total of confirmations, 4,856. The number of 
present communicants was 2,404, of which two-thirds were 
natives. The estimated value of buildings belonging to the 
mission was $121,250; 22 day schools, 19 boarding schools and 
38 Sunday schools was conducted; 1,210 day-school pupils, 643 
boarding-school pupils, 2,714 Sunday-school pupils were in 
attendance. It is a noble record of results for faithful service. 

It has been suggested in some quarters that the American 
Protestant EpiscopS Church shall abandon this promising mis- 
sion field; or rather it is proposed that it shall exchange this 
successful and flourishing work with English brethren, for work 
started by them in Central America. It is possible that from 
the point of view of church administration such an exchange 
may be desirable; it is certain that from any other point of 
view it will be a great misfortune. The writer of this article 
has himself been in Liberia, and is profoundly interested in 
Liberian problems. He believes that any proposal to abandon 
work in Liberia could only arise through ignorance of the actual 
conditions in the Black Republic. He has no wish to interfere 
in affairs which in no wise concern himself. Deeply interested, 
however, in the progress of the only remaining country of 
Africa which is a^inistered by black men, he desires to express 
his reasons for opposing the suggestion. 

It is now seventy-seven years since the Liberian work was 
begun. It has been wisely directed, it has been nobly sup- 
ported, it has been successful. Surely the ultimate aim in sdl 
such labor is to produce a self-supporting church in the mission 
field. The Liberian Church is already approaching the x>oint 
of self-support. In his last report Bishop Ferguson says: ''I 
believe the greatest joy of my life would be to be able to say to 
the Board of Missions, * The Church in Liberia will hereafter sup- 
port itself. You need not appropriate any more funds towards 
its maintenance.' That I am unable to do so as yet is not be- 
cause of an indisposition on the part of the people to contribute 
to such a worthy object, but rather because of their poverty, 
through not having learnt to work profitably. It must be 
16« 



242 LIBERIA. 

remembered that two-thirds of our communicants are native 
Africans who, as well as the majority of the class we call 
* Americo-Liberians ' making up the one-third, need to be 
trained in some remunerative industry. The fact is, that the 
financial burden of the Church in the district is resting on a 
comparatively small number. Taking this into consideration, 
the amount raised from time to time for the building, repairing, 
and improving of churches, and to meet other parochial ex- 
penses is rather creditable than otherwise. Besides expenses 
at home, they contribute annually toward missions in general 
in the shape of Lenten and Easter offerings and the missionary 
apportionment fund. Our quota of the lait named has already 
been paid up for the present year. But as above shown, com- 
paratively few deserve the credit. To make the work self- 
supporting, at least a majority of the members should be able 
to contribute to it." 

Certainly, it is a basic error to abandon a work which has 
been conducted for seventy-seven years, when it approaches the 
point of self-support. A change subjecting the mission to a 
new administration, would mean setback and delay in gaining 
the end desired. 

The American Church is bound in a special way to Liberia; 
the original settlers in Liberia were American f reed-men; they 
had been our slaves. As Americans we had been responsible 
for the dragging of thousands of helpless black people from 
their homes; we had held them for years in captivity. "When 
finally we sent them back as freed-men to the shores of their 
native continent, our obligations by no means ceased. 

When Bishop Lee preached the sermon at the consecration 
of Bishop Ferguson, he used the following strong terms: **To 
the millions of this race among ourselves, as well as to those 
beyond the sea, we should count ourselves debtors. If any 
branch of the evangelistic work of our Church has peculiar and 
sacred claims to general support, it seems to me to be our 
African Mission as well as our home Mission among our colored 
people. With glad and ready hearts should we enter this open 
door. With free and unclosed hands should we pour our gifts 
into the Lord's treasury. And when we read with averted eye 
the shocking details of former injustice and inhumanity, well 
may we thank God that He has shown us a way in which we may 
send back to those sunny climes a benefaction, the value of 
which cannot be told.'' 

In 1893 Dr. Langford, General Secretary of the Board of 
Missions, said: *'The lapse of time does not lighten by a shade 
the deep damnation of its curse. If America were to pay a 
million dollars a year for fifty years, it would not suffice to 
cancel a tithe of her debt to Africa.'* 

England has no such duty nor obligation to Liberia; she 
cannot be expected to take the same legitimate interest in that 
mission. Nor have the Mipsions of Central America anything 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 243 

like the same claim upon the interest and sympathy of the 
American Church as has Liberia. Nothing but blindness to the 
seriousness of our obligation could lead us to make the exchange. 

It is true that the United States has at no time shown the 
hearty interest in, and sympathy with Liberia which she should 
have. It is, however, true that, as a result of all the past, the 
civilized Liberians are to-day far more (American in spirit than 
English. The Liberians are different in their bearing and man- 
ner from all other blacks upon the coast of West Africa. This 
is not merely a personal claim. Travelers, ever since the early 
days of colonization, are united in their statements: the 
Liberian is more independent — ^he is more a man — ^than the 
black man in any of the European colonies. This spirit has 
been frequently criticised; it is no advantage to colonizing 
nations to encounter black men of spirit and independence; such 
are a bad example to colonial subjects. But, if Liberia is to 
remain a nation, this spirit of independence must be maintained. 
The transfer of this mission to England would dampen enthu- 
siasm; it would check the independent spirit; it would introduce 
the element of weakness. No one who has seen the blacks of 
Freetown can fail to grasp my meaning. The attitude of the 
Englishman toward colored peoples may be fairly fair and just, 
but it is repressive. In the nature of things, administration of 
the Liberian Church by British leaders would necessarily lead 
to irritation and assumption of superiority on the one side and 
subservience upon the other; there would be less of self-respect 
and independence. If the Church held its own in numbers, it 
would be through the loss of its most desirable members and 
their replacement by people of less strong character. 

The work of the Protestant Episcopal Church is not the only 
mission work within the limits of Liberia. There are also mis- 
sions, more or less active, conducted by the Methodist Episcopal, 
African Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran and Presby- 
terian denominations. If these mission efforts are to be success- 
ful there must be fellow feeling between the different missions ; 
harmony and unity should be the order of the day. We regret 
that there has not always been the most harmonious relations 
between the different branches of Christian efforts in the Bepub- 
lic. Surely, however, every mission there established should do 
its utmost toward harmony; surely it should be the policy of 
each separate mission to do nothing which could interrupt or 
destroy harmonious relations. But all these other mission efforts 
in Liberia are in American hands; the transfer of the Church 
mission to English hands would be certain, under the political 
and social conditions of the country, to introduce friction and 
enmity which would be destructive beyond the possibility of 
calculation. From the point of view of Christian harmony it 
would be a blunder to transfer the mission. 

I believe that Liberia may have an important influence in 
solving our Negro problem. It is doubtful whether we shall 



244 LIBERIA. 

send a large number of emigrants from our southern states to 
the BepubUc; it is likely that a small migration will constantly 
take place from us to Africa. But it is of the utmost conse- 
quence both to Liberia and to our American black people that 
there be intimate relations between the two regions. It is 
desirable that many black men from America should visit and 
know Liberia; it is most important that Liberians should find 
it easy to come to America and see our institutions. In this 
easy contact and intimate relation there is certainly ease for 
our black man's troubles. Everything which cultivates close, 
frequent, repeated and continued contact will help us as much 
as it helps them. We ought, then, at least, to think a long time 
before we sever any connection already established. 

In view of these conditions and tendencies, it seems to me 
that the proposed exchange would be a serious blunder. Motives 
of economy and ease of administration cannot excuse it. Duty, 
honor, enlightened patriotism, demand that the American 
Church continue to carry the Liberian mission until such time 
as it may become self-supporting. 

THE PEOPLE OF LIBERIA. 
{The Independent. August 14, 1913.) 

There is no question that ultimately Liberia must depend 
upon her native population : the native tribes are the chief asset 
of the black republic. If it is to make progress in the future, 
there must be hearty cooperation between the "Liberian'' and 
the "native." The native must be aroused to realize that his 
interest is the same as that of the Liberian ; he must realize that 
his country is the Liberian 's country; he must learn to know 
and to carry his part of the common burden. This is going to 
be a difficult lesson for both to le^tm. From the very beginning 
of the colony to the present tifne, the attitude of the newcomer 
toward the native has been that of a superior to an inferior 
being. It is and always has beeij the custom for Liberians to 
speak of themselves as "white men," while they have consid- 
ered the natives "bush niggers." The Liberian has never 
indulged to any extent in manual labor ; he has done but little 
even in agricultural work. The native has always been consid- 
ered the natural laborer of the country; socially an inferior, he 
has been despised and neglected. He has done the heavy work, 
he has brought in the produce of "the bush," he has been the 
house servant. While he has rarely been treated with cruelty, 
he has been looked upon with contempt. There is no doubt 
that, in the future, the native will continue to be the chief 
laborer of the country; something of prejudice must be expected 
to continue ; but conditions ought to be such that it will be easy 
for a bright native boy to emerge from his own status and play 
bis part in the mutual progress. 



EEPEINTED ARTICLES. 245 

Under the circumstances, every individual case of a Liberlan 
native who has gained a position of consequence in the com- 
munitj has special significance and importance. One of the 
encouraging facts in present day Liberia is that a considerable 
number of natives are occupying positions of influence and 
power in their community. At the present time a member of 
the Cabinet is a native of pure blood. The Secretary of Public 
Instruction, in charge of the educational system of the republic, 
is a Bassa; he is one of ' * Miss Sharp 's boys' ' — ^and does credit 
to her efforts. While the educational development of Liberia 
leaves much to be desired, he has ninety-one schools (including 
night schools) under his direction. 

Another native who has gained position, reputation and in- 
fluence is Abayomi Wilfrid Kamga, the son of a Kongo man, 
which means that he has risen against more serious difficulties 
than face the usual native hi the country. The population of 
Liberia consists actually of three different classes of black men; 
first, the descendants of American or English freedmen; 
second, the actual natives of the country; third, descendants of 
recaptured slaves — ^very commonly included under the general 
term of ''Kongo men.'' The last mentioned people had been 
bought by slavers, taken on board slave vessels, and were being 
taken to Cuba or South America for sale when they were cap- 
tured by British or American warships, taken to Liberia, and 
dumped upon the colony for care and raising. They have 
always been looked upon with contempt by both Liberians and 
natives, and for a Kongo man to rise indicates energy and 
natural ability. Mr. Kamga has been a school teacher and is 
now a practising lawyer; he is at present a member of the 
House of Eepresentatives and is active in public affairs. 

Another conspicuous native success is Luke B. Anthony, a 
Bassa. He received his early training under the Presbyterian 
missionaries and attended Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania. 
At one time he had high hope of conducting schools for his own 
people, but this hope vanished with the discontinuance of mis- 
sion effort on the part of the board with which he has been 
interested. He loves his people and a year ago gave the com- 
mencement address at Liberia College upon the subject of 
''Bassa Traditions." While in the United States he received 
medical training and is a successful physician. At present he 
is professor of mathematics in Liberia College and a teacher of 
considerable ability and force. 

One of the most interesting of the Liberian natives who are 
playing ar part in public life is Momolu MassaquoL He repre- 
sents the Vai people, one of the most important, enterprising 
and progressive of the score or so of native tribes in the republic. 
The Vai are a Mohammedan population and stand alone among 
African negroes in having in common daily use a system of 
writing with characters invented long ago by one of their own 
tribe. Mr. Massaquoi was an hereditary chief among his people. 



246 LIBERIA. 

While still young he became a Christian, found his way to the 
United States, and gained part of his education in this country. 
After returning to Liberia he was paramount chief among his 
people for a period of ten years. He now lives in Monrovia, 
where he occupies the position of chief clerk in the Department 
of the Interior. He is now preparing text-books in Vai for 
use among his people. 

The number of pure blood natives among the Liberian clergy 
must be considerable. Some of these, like the Bev. F. A. Bus- 
sell, of Grand Bassa, minister to mixed congregations, with 
both Liberian and native members. Other native clergymen 
have charge of definite mission work among the natives. Thus, 
Bev. McKrae is in charge of the Kru cha]Ml (Episcopalian) in 
Monrovia. The Kru and Grebo are close kin, both in speech and 
blood. In connection with such mission effort we are naturally 
reminded of Mr. Scott, a full-blooded Grebo, who is the architect 
and superintendent oi construction of the Bromley School for 
Girls, situated upon the St. Paul's Biver about three hours by 
steamer from Monrovia; it is said to be the largest building in 
Liberia. Mr. Scott has had no instruction in the builder's trade 
beyond what he has picked up practically and tiirough a course 
of instruction received from America by correspondence. 

These are a few examples of native men who are doing some- 
thing to help Liberians to solve their problems. There must be 
a considerable number of such. There is, however, another class 
of men who are helping in the advancement of the country, 
though in quite a different way. Those whom we have men- 
tioned have practically severed themselves from the native life; 
they are livmg among Liberians and taking active part with 
them. Thomas Lewis, a Bassa, living in Grand Bassa^ where his 
house, newly built, is one of the finest in the town, is a native 
of the natives. His father was a local king; Thomas was one 
of about a hundred children. Through missionary effort he 
gained the rudiments of education; coming then to the United 
States, he studied in various cities, finally taking his advanced 
work in Syracuse University. While there he devised a system 
of writing the Bassa language, which, like the system long in 
use among the Vai, consists of a series of phonetic characters 
standing for syllables. While in Syracuse he had a primer 
printed in the new characters for teaching Bassa children to 
read. Having studied medicine, he became a practising physi- 
cian on his return to his own country. He has large influence 
with the primitive Bassa, and not infrequently is called upon by 
the €k)Yemment to exert this in its behalf. He has taught a 
number of Bassa boys his system and takes great pride in their 
ability to write and read their language with his characters. 

Living in the same neighborhood with Dr. Lewis is Jacc^ 
Logan. His father was a Liberian, his mother a Bassa; his 
father represented a class of which we hear much in the writings 
of authors who criticize Liberian affairs — civilized Liberians 
who relapse. He lived the native life and his son Jacob was 



REPRINTED ARTICLES. 247 

brought up amid purely native surroundings. Jacob Logan 
today speaks excellent English, writes and reads the language 
perfectly well, knows Liberia and the outside world, having been 
to Europe. Yet he maintains the state of a native chief. He 
has an excellent house, which he calls ''Native Vindicator's 
House ; " he is legally married to one wife, but has the reputa- 
tion of maintaining a considerable body of native women; he 
has a quantity of dependents, known everywhere as ''Jacob 
Logan's boys." They work for him, and when they hire out 
to others he receives their wages; they are subject to his orders; 
they live in his house or on his property until married; after 
they are married they still retain relations with him. On his 
part Jacob owes them advice, shelter, direction, assistance; when 
they wish to marry he provides the money, for they must pay 
for wives; if they are in trouble he must help them; if they get 
into legal difficulty he must pay their fines. These two men are 
representative, no doubt, of a large class. They have great influ- 
ence and it certainly is to the advantage of Government that 
their influence be utilized in its favor. If they are well informed 
in regard to governmental policy and favorable to it, they can 
do much. 

Is it desirable that Liberians and natives intermarry? It 
is certain that the native endures the climate better tlmn the 
newcomers; it is true that he has far more energy, vigor, enter- 
prise—in case his interest is once aroused. There can be no 
question that close breeding among the little handful of 
Liberians is fraught with danger; mixture with the native 
stock would give, in many cases, good results. There is always, 
of course, the danger in such mixed marriages of relapse to 
barbarism. The Liberian who marries a native woman might 
lead an easy life among her people in the bush. This danger 
is a real one and needs to be avoided. 

It is only five minutes' walk from the heart of liberian 
Monrovia to the center of Krutown on the beach. It is a purely 
native town; most of the houses are true Kru houses, with 
thatched roofs and matting sides. The streets are narrow, 
the houses crowded, the people swarm. The Kru have force and 
vigor; they are splendid canoe- men and fishers; they are the 
chief dependence of coast commerce, loading and unloading 
the steamer cargoes. The men and boys almost all know 
English, some have a smattering of French or German; the 
women confine themselves largely to their native language, 
though girls in school all learn English. The Kru are workers; 
they like activity. There are schools in Krutown, but the 
Kru boys, after they have finished their studies in them, go up 
to the College of West Africa, in Monrovia. This is a mission 
school, supported by the Methodists, in which all the teachers 
are colored; most of them Americans. 

One day I visited the class in arithmetic, consisting of about 
thirty scholars. Sitting in the midst of them, when a lull 



248 LIBERIA. 

came, I said to my nearest neighbor, ''But you are a native 
boy!" "Yes, sir; we are many of us native boys. Ke is a 
native, and he, and he, and he,^^ In fact, I was surrounded 
by natives, Kru boys. **Well," I asked, **and how do you 
native boyi do in your classes?'' **We do better than they 
do, sir," he said. '*Do you, indeed?'' said I; "it would 
sound better if some one else said that; but how is it so?" ^ 
"I can't help it, sir; we do better anyway; we love our country 
better than they do, too." However that may be, it is certain 
that these Ejru boys will outrun the Liberians unless the latter 
are careful. No one else in all Liberia is so anxious to learn 
as they. 

It is interesting how generally they look toward us for edu- 
cation. One who called upon me one afternoon told me that a 
Kru boy had started for America only the week before. He 
told me, then, that he himself was one of five boys in their 
town and school who had agreed together that, in some way or 
other, they should get to America for education. They wiU do 
it, too. They earn good money from the steamers and know 
how to save; after they had been hired two or three times for 
a coasting voyage they make friends with steamer officers and 
have no trouble in being taken to Antwerp, or Botterdam, or 
Hamburg, earning something more than passage by their work. 
If they can work their way from Hamburg to New York they 
are glad to do so, but most of them resdize that that is an 
uncertain chance and start out either with cash upon their 
person or a little ivory for sale to provide resources beyond 
Hamburg. 

There has been considerable discussion in regard to the 
location of Liberia College. Should it remain at the capital, 
Mdnrovia? Or should it be transferred to some point in the 
interior? Just now there is so much talk about manual training 
and agricultural instruction that there has been considerable 
effort made to change the character of the school and to place 
it at some point in the interior. I believe that Liberia College 
ought to remain in Monrovia; it should continue to be an insti- 
tution of higher education — cultural in character. To locate 
it at any point in the interior would be to confine its field and 
value to a single district and a single tribe. There are perhaps 
a score of native tribes in Liberia, each with its own language, 
its own territory, its own customs, its own chiefs. Between the 
tribes there is little contact and no bond of interest. To put 
Liberia College into the interior would benefit perhaps a single 
tribe. Other tribes would not patronize it — ^they would look 
upon it as of no value or interest to them. What is needed is 
the establishment of a good central school within the area of 
each native tribe. It should give thorough rudimentary 
instruction. It should serve as a feeder to Liberia College; 
its best men, those who become interested and are ambition^ 
would go up to the capital for further study. There they would 



EEPBINTED ARTICLES. 249 

meet representatives of all the other tribes sent up from the 
other local schools. A wholesome rivalry would rise between 
them; tribal spirit would be maintained, but acquaintanceship 
and respect for others would be wholesomely developed; in 
Monrovia, the capital city, they would be made to feel a 
national interest and develop affection for their common gov- 
ernment. In such a system only can the elevation of the whole 
people and a genuine cooperation be developed. 

Manual training and agricultural instruction are of high 
importance, but form a question by themselves. 



APPENDICES 



LEADING EVENTS IN LIBERIAN HISTORY 

1777 Virginia Legislative Committee (Thomas Jefferson, Chn.) 

to devise scheme. 
1816 December 23. Virginia asked United States to secure 
a territory. 
Similar plans by Maryland, Tennessee and Georgia. 
December 21. Colonization Society considered. 

1818 Society organized with Judge Washing- 

ton as President. 
February 2. Two agents sailed from London for Sierra 

Leone. 
Interview with King Sherbro. Burgess and Mills. 
October 22. Burgess reached United States ; Mills dead. 

1819 March 3. Congress determined to unite with Society. 
Samuel Bacon and John P. Bankson — ^agents. 

1820 February. The Elizabeth sailed: Agent Crozier and 

88 colonists. 
— Three agents and twenty colonists dead; Daniel Coker 

and others at Sherbro Island. 
— ^To Sierra Leone. 

1821 March. Andrus and Wiltberger (Soc.), Winn and K 

Bacon (U. 8.). 

— Cape Mesurado=Montserrado. F^ure. Bacon re- 
turned; Andrus and Winn dead. Wiltberger remained 
in Africa. 

To Sierra Leone. 

Fall. Dr. Ayres (Soc.) to Sierra Leone: Then by Alli- 
gator (Capt. Stockton) to Cape Mesurado. 

Ayres and Stockton — ^King Peter and five chiefs. Buy 
land for $300. 

Differences; but colonists persevere. 

Wreck palaver: Boatswain's intervention. 

1822 June 4. Dr. Ayres sailed; colonist in charge. 
July. Final removal to mainland. 

August 8. Jehudi Ashmun arrived. (Landing 8th to 
14th.) 

18. Martello tower begun. 
31. Night watch established. 
September 1. King George removed his town. 

15. Mrs. Ashmun died; only one person well. 

251 



252 LIBERIA. 

November 7. Notice of planned attack. 
11. Battle. 

22. Parley. 

23. Day of humiliation^ thanksgiving and 

prayer. 
29. Oapt. Brassey's visit. 
December 1. Second battle. 

2. Night cannonading; Prince Begent (Gapt. 
Laing) ; Midshipman Gordon and men 
remain. 
8. Columbian schooner; (Capt. Wesley). 
1823 March 15. Bemaining five children returned by natives. 

1823 March 31. U. 8. a Cyane (Capt. Spencer). 
April 21. Richard Seaton remained: died in June. 
May 24. Oswego arrived: Dr. Ayres and 61 colonists. 
Intrigue and rebellion rife. 

December; Dr. Ayres left. 

1824 February 20. Liberia^ Monrovia, — official names. 
March 22. Ashmun farewell address; April 1 embarked 

for Islands. 
July 24. Ashmun-Gurley meeting on Porpoise; Ashmun 

returns with him. 
August 13. Gurley and Ashmun reach Monrovia: Gurley 

there until August 22. New plan of government drawn. 

1825 New lands acquired; Grand Bassa, New Cess. 

1826 New lands acquired; Cape Mount, Junk Kiver. 
Trade Town war. 

1827 August 27. The Norfolk, with 142 recaptured slaves. 

1828 March 25. Ashmun left colony. 

August 25. Ashmun died at New Haven, Connecticut. 

October 28. New government adopted. 

Digby incident; trouble with King Bristol; Lott Carey 

killed by explosion of powder. 
December 22. Bichard Bandall, new agent, arrived. 

1829 April 19. Bandall died; Dr. Mechlin, agent. 

1831 James Hall with 31 colonists from the Maryland Colon- 

ization Society, stop at Monrovia. 

1832 Dey-Golah war (Bromley). 

1833 Edina founded. 

James Hall with 28 colonists; settle at Cape Palmas, 
** Maryland in Africa." 

1834 Mechlin to the United States; John B. Pinney succeeded 

him. 

1835 Pinney home ; Dr. Ezekiel Skinner, agent. 
Pennsylvania Colonization Society; Port Cresson mas- 
sacre. 

1836 Anthony D. Williams, agent. 

January. Thomas Buchanan arrived; in charge of Bassa 
settlements. 



APPENDICES. 253 

1837 Gov. I. r. C. Pinley arrived; in charge of Mississippi in 

Africa. 

1838 Greenville established. 

September 10. Gov. Finley murdered. 
New Constitution drawn up by Prof. Greenleaf, Harvard 
College; "Commonwealth of Liberia." 

1839 A. D. Williams gives up agency; Thomas Buchanan, gov- 

ernor. 
Tradetown war. 

1840 Boporo-Golah war==Gatumba 's war: Gen. Roberts. 
Difficulty with Bev. John Seyes, in charge of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Mission. 

1840 English settlement threatens complications. 

1841 September 3. Gov. Buchanan died. Joseph Jenkin Rob- 

erts, governor. 

1842 France attempts to secure Liberian foothold ; Cape Mount, 

Bassa Cove, Butu, Garaw6. 

1843 February 22. Treaty with Golah. 

1844-1845 Strengthening of Liberian position, by purchase and 
treaty. 
6% ad valorem duty established; in Maryland as well; 
agreement between Roberts and Busswurm. 

1844 Bol^rts visited the United States; American squadron 

visited Liberia. 

1845 The Little Ben seized; the John Seyes seized from Ben- 

son; United States inquiry. 

1846 January. American Colonization Society decides to grant 

self-government. 
Continued land-purchasing from natives. 
Release and "apprenticeship" of slaves. 
October 7. Vote on Independence; opposition in Grand 

Bassa. 

1847 July 8. Day of Thanksgiving. 

26. Declaration of Independence; Constitution. 
August 4. Flag hoisted ; recognition by Great Britain. 
October. Joseph Jenkin Roberts elected president; in- 
stalled January 3, 1848. 

1848 England, France, Prussia recognition. President Roberts 

visited Europe. 

1849 Roberts re-elected president ; Robertsport founded at Cape 

Mount. , 
February 26. English treaty ratified. 

1848 Lord Ashley raised £2,000 for purchasing lands of Mat- 

tru, Gumbo, Gallhinas, Manna, etc. British admiralty 
presented The Larlc. 

1849 Portugal, Sardinia, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Nor- 

way, Brazil, Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, Haiti, recog- 
nized republic. 
March. New Cesters slavers cleaned up and region an- 
nexed. 



254 LIBERIA. 

September 19. Balph Gurley arrived at Cape Mount; 
report printed in 1850. 

1850 Two German trading houses established; Vai, Dej and 

Golah quarrelling. 

1851 British Consul appointed ; Mr. Hanson. 
Boberts: third term. 

Edward Wilmot Blyden arrived. 

Interior troubles; Boporo. Grando war at Grand Bassa. 

Native troubles in Maryland. 
Governor Busswurm died; S. M. McGill, governor of 

Maryland. 

1852 Boberts visited France and England. 

1853 Boberts: fourth term. 

1854 William A. Prout ; governor of Maryland. 

October 3. President visited Europe; proposed annexa- 
tion of Sierra Leone. 

1856 Stephen Allen Benson, president. 

Napoleon III equipment for 1,000 armed men and the 

Hirondelle, 
J. B. Drayton, governor of Maryland. 
December 22. Cape Palmas battle. 

1857 January 18. Sheppard Lake disaster, Grebo war. 
February 18. J. J. Boberts and J. F. Gibson signed 

treaty. 
28. Annexation of Maryland. 
Boberts appointed president of Liberia College. 

1858 Begina Ooeli incident. 

Seymore and Ash expedition; (B. G. S. 1860). 
1860 John Myers Harris' boats seized: rescued by a British 

gunboat — The Torch, 
1862 Boberts sent to Europe; appointed Belgian consul. 
President Benson in England; question decided. 
Harris' schooners again seized; Monrovia conference; 

Vai and Harris war; Commodore Schufeldt. 
October 22. Treaty with the United States. 

1864 Daniel Bashiel Warner, president. 

1865 Ports of Entry Law: Bobertsport, Monrovia, Marshall, 

Grand Bassa, Greenville, Cape Palmas. 
Three hundred West Indian immigrants; A. Barclay. 
1868 James Spriggs Payne, president. 
Anderson's trip to Musahdu. 

1870 Edward James Boye, president. Went to England. 
England agrees to Boundary Commission. 

Vai attack Harris; Sierra Leone demands. 

1871 £100,000 loan placed in England. 

October. President Boye proclaimed term extended; at- 
tempted bank seizure. 
— 26th. Legislative manifesto. 

1872 J. J. Boberts again president. 
Paid indemnity of 1869. 



APPENDICES. 255 

1874 Anderson's second expedition to Musahdu. 

1875 Grebo war; natives burned Bunker Hill and Philadelphia 

(near Harper). 

1876 James Spriggs Payne, president. 
Chigoes introduced. 

1877 Colonists from Louisiana; mainly along lower St. Paul's 

B.; some subsequently returned. 

1878 Bevived demand for £8,500 indemnity. 
Anthony William Gardner, president. 

1879 Order of African Bedemption founded. 
April. Entered International Postal Union. 
Sierra Leone boundary commission wrangle. 

German steamer Carlos wrecked on Nana Kru coast; 
Victoria punitive expedition; £900. 
1879-1887 J. Buttikoper visits Liberia; zoological research. 

1882 March 20. Sir Arthur Havelock and gunboats; Mafa B. 

boundary, £8,500 indemnity. 
September 7. Sir Arthur Havelock returned. 

1883 Corsico wrecked at Grand Cestos B.; Liberians punished 

natives. 
Senegal wrecked and plundered. 
March. Sierra Leone took land up to Mano Biver 
January 20. Gardner resigned; Vice-President A. F. 

Bussell in chair. 

1884 Hilary Bichard Wright Johnson, president. 

1885 November 11. Boundary dispute settled; Mano B. 

boundary. 
1885-1891 Efforts at adjusting loan of 1871. 

1891 October 26. French claim Cavalla B. boundary. 

1892 Joseph James Cheeseman, president. 

December 8. Cavalla B. boundary accepted, after protest. 

1893 Third Grebo war. 

Kru declaration of adhesion. 

1896 November. Vice-President William David Coleman takes 

presidency. 
Grebo trouble. 

1897 German consulate offers protectorate. 

1898 Liberia admits £70,000 to £80,000 on Loan of 1871. 

1899 February 10. Hostain's and d'Ollones' expedition; af- 

fecting Franco-Liberian boundary. 

1900 Coleman expedition to subdue interior; resignation. 
Garretson Wilmot Gibson, president. 

1902 French boundary negotiations. 

1903 French treaty fixing boundary; Liberia paid £4,750. 
Anglo-Liberian boundary demarcated; Mano B.; Kanre- 

Lahun in Liberia. 
Missions to chiefs one hundred miles up the Cavalla Biver, 
also up the St. Paul's. 



256 LIBERIA. 

1904 Arthur Barclay, president. 

Congress of kings — Golah, Boporo, Mpesse. 

March. Effort to ^ French boundary from Tembi Kunda 

to Oavalla B. 
May 19. German Government complains of Liberian 

judiciary. 
August. Changes in Liberian Development Chartered Co. ; 
also in January, 1906. 

1905 January. Permission given for British force to pacify the 

Kissi district. 
February. President Barclay visited Cape Mount and 

treated with VaL 
July 27. Vice-President J. D. Summerville died. 

1906 Arthur Barclay, president. 

January 5. Agreement with Liberian Development Co., 

for a loan of £100,000. 
Lomax in Kanre-Lahun district. 

1907 May 7. Amendment to Constitution lengthening presiden- 

tial term to four years. 
Summer: Commission sent to adjust difficulties with 

Great Britain and France. 
August 29. President Barclay reaches London; Great 

Britain demands reforms as condition to discussion of 

disagreement. 
September 18. President Barclay yields to French de- 
mands and accepts treaty. 
Severance of relations between Liberian government and 

Liberian Development Co. 
Tripartite Agreement; Liberia, Erlanger Co., Liberian 

Development Co. ; Liberia takes over responsibility for 

loan of 1906. 
Trouble at Eiver Cess. 

1908 Arthur Barclay, president; four years term. 
January. Major Mackay Cadell appears in Liberia. 
January 14. Consul-general Braithwaite Wallis issues re- 
form demand. 

British offer to exchange Behlu district for Kanre-Lahun. 

May. Liberian Commission bring appeal to the United 
States. 

July. Ex-President W. D. Coleman died at Clay- Ashland. 

War-vessel Laric purchased for £40,000; British Govern- 
ment presents gun armament worth £1,600. 

1909 February 11. Mackay CadelPs frontier force in mutiny. 
May 8. United States commission of inquiry arrived at 

Monrovia. 
Trouble at Biver Cess and Grand Bassa. 

1910 March 21. German cable line opened. 
New Cess trouble; Grebo uprising. 



APPENDICES. 257 

1911 January. BeUu and Kanre-Labun exchange consum- 

mated; delimitation ordered. 
Maj. French demand customs control of both sides of 

Cavalla Biver. 
September 26. American loan arrangement presented. 
November 1. Free navigation of the Mano B. admitted. 

1912 January 1-2. Daniel Edward Howard, president; inau- 

guration. 
January 1. Loan went into operation. 
February 7. Edward Wilmot Blyden died. 
Arrival of American military helpers — ^Major Ballard and 

Captains Brown and Newton. 
September. Lomax and Cooper trials; acquittals. 

DECLARATION OP INDEPENDENCE 
IN CONVENTION 

Town of Monrovia; June and July 1847 

We, the representatives of the people of the Commonwealth 
of Liberia, in Convention assembled, invested with authority 
for forming a new government, relying upon the aid and pro- 
tection of the Great Arbiter of human events, do hereby, in the 
name and on behalf of the people of this Commonwealth, publish 
and declare the said Commonwealth a fbse, sovekeion and 
INDEPENDENT STATE, by the name and style of the Bepublig or 
Liberia. 

While announcing to the nations of the world the new posi- 
tion which the people of this Bepublic have felt themselves called 
upon to assume, courtesy to their opinion seems to demand a 
brief accompanying statement of the causes which induced them, 
first to expatriate themselves from the land of their nativity 
and to form settlements on this barbarous coast, and now to 
organize their government by the assumption of a sovereign and 
independent character. Therefore we respectfully ask their 
attention to the following facts: 

We recognize in all men, certain natural and inalienable 
rights: among these are life, liberty, and the right to acquire, 
possess, enjoy and defend property. By the practice and consent 
of men in all ages, some system or form of government is proven 
to be necessary to exercise, enjoy, and secure these rights: and 
every people has a right to institute a government and to dioose 
and adopt that system or form of it, which, in their opinion, will 
most effectually accomplish these objects, and secure their happi- 
ness, which does not interfere with the just rights of others. 
The right therefore to institute government, and all the powers 
necessary to conduct it, is an inalienable right, and cannot be 
resisted without the grossest injustice. 
17 



258 LIBEIIU. 

We, the people of the BepubHe of Liberia, were originally the 
inhabitants of the United States of North Annerica. 

In some part of that eonntrj, we were debarred bj law from 
all the rights and pririleges of men — ^in other puts, public 
sentiments, more powerful than law frowned ns down. 

We were every where shut ont from all eivil ofliee. 
We were excluded from all participation in the government. 
We were taxed without our consent. 

We were compelled to contribute to the resourees of a 
country, wluch g^ve us no protection. 

We were made a separate and distinct class, and against us 
every avenue to improvement was effectually closed. Strang^ers 
from all lands of a color different from ours, were preferred 
before us. 

We uttered our complaints, but they were unattended to, or 
met only by aUeging the peculiar institution of the country. 

All hope of a favorable change in our country was thus wholly 
extinguuuied in our bosom, and we looked with anxiety abroad 
for some asylum from the deep degradation. 

The Western coast of Africa was the place selected by Ameri- 
can benevolence and philanthropy, for our future home. Re- 
moved beyond those iiidQuences which depressed us in our native 
land, it was hoped we would be enabled to enjoy those rights 
and privileges, and exercise and improve those faculties, which 
the God of nature has given us in common with the rest of man- 
kind. 

Under the auspices of the American Colonization Society, we 
established ourselves here, on land acquired by purchase ^om 
the lords of the soil. 

In an original compact with this Society, we for important 
reasons, delegated to it certain political powers; while this insti- 
tution stipulated that whenever the people should become cj^>a- 
ble of conducting the government, or whenever the people should 
desire it, this institution would resign the delegated power, 
peaceably withdraw its supervision, and leave the people to the 
government of themselves. 

Under the auspices and guidance of this institution, which has 
nobly and in perfect faith redeemed its pledges to the people, 
we have grown and prospered. 

From time to time, our number has been increased by migra- 
tion from America, and by accessions from native tribes; and 



APPENDICBS. 259 

from time to time, as eircumstanees required it, we have extended 
our borders by acquisition of land by honorable purchase from 
the natires of the country. 

As our territory has extended, and our population increased, 
our commerce has also increased. The flags of most of 
the civilized nations of the earth float in our harbors, and 
their merchants are opening an honorable and printable trade. 
Until recently, these visits have been of a unifonnly harmoni- 
ous character, but as they have become more frequent, and to 
more numerous points of our extending coast, questions have 
arisen, which it is supposed can be adjusted only by agreement 
between sovereign powers. 

For years past, the American Colonization Society has faith- 
fully withdrawn from all direct and active part in the adminis- 
tration of the Government, except in the appointment of the 
Governor, who is also a colonist, for the apparent purpose of 
testing the ability of the people to conduct the affairs of Govern- 
ment; and no complaint of crude legislation, nor mismanage- 
ment, nor of mal-a^ninistration has yet been heard. 

In view of these facts, this institution, the American Colon- 
ization Society, with that good faith which has uniformly marked 
all its dealings with us, did, by a set of resolutions in January, 
in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and 
Forty Six, dissolve all political connection with the people of 
this Bepublic, return the power with which it was delegated, and 
left the people to the government of themselves. 

The people of the Bepublic of Liberia then, are of right, and 
in fact, a tree sovereign and Independent State, possessed of all 
the rights, and powers, and functions of government. 

In assulning the momentous responsibilities of the position 
they have taken, the people of this Bepublic, feel justified by the 
necessities of the case, and with this conviction they throw them- 
selves, with confidence upon the candid consideration of the 
civilized world. 

Liberia is not the offspring of grasping ambition, nor the 
tool of avaricious speculation. 

No desire for territorial aggrandizement brought us to these 
shores; nor do we believe so sordid a motive entered into the 
high consideration of those who aided us in providing this 
asylum. 

Liberia is an asylum from the most grinding oppression. 



260 LIBERU. 

In coming to the shores of Af riea, we indulged the pleasing 
hope that we should be pennitted to exercise and improTe those 
faculties which impart to man his dignity — to nourish in our 
hearts the flame of honorable ambition, to cherish and indulge 
those aspirations, which a Bcoiefieent Creator hath implanted in 
every human heart, and to evince to all who despise, ridicule and 
oppress our race that w6 possess with them a common nature, are 
with them susceptible of equal refinement^ and capable of ^ual 
advancement in all that adorns and dignifies man. 

We were animated with the hope, that here we should be at 
liberty to train up our children in the way they should go— to 
inspire them, with the love of an honorable fame, to kindle 
within them, j^he flame of a lofty philanthropy, and to form 
strong within them, the principles of humanity, virtue and re- 
ligion. 

Among the strongest motives to leave our native land — ^to 
abandon forever the scenes of our childhood, and to sever the 
most endeared connections, was the desire for a retreat where, 
free from the agitations of fear and molestation, we could, in 
composure and security, approach in worship the God of our 
Fathers. 

Thus far our highest hopes have been realized. 

Liberia is already the happy home of thousands, who were 
once the doomed victims of oppression; and if left unmolested 
to go on with her natural and spontaneous growth : if her move- 
ments be left free from the paralysing intrigues of jealous ambi- 
tion and unscrupulous avarice, she mil throw open a wider and 
a wider door for thousands who are now looking with an anxious 
eye for some land of rest. 

Our courts of justice are open equally to the stranger and the 
citizen, for the redress of grievances, for the remedy of injuries^ 
and for the punishment of crime. 

Our numerous and well attended schools attest our efforts, 
and our desire for the improvement of our children. 

Our churches for the worship of our Creator, every where to be 
seen, bear testimony to our piety, and to our acknowledgOTient 
of his Providence. 

The native African, bowing down with us before the altar 
of the living God, declare that from us, feeble as we are, the light 
of Christianity has gone forth ; while upon that curse of curses, 
the slave trade, a deadly blight has fallen as far as our ilifluence 
extends. 



APPENDICES. 261 

Therefore, in the name of humanity, and virtue and religion — 
in the name of the Great God, our common Creator, and our com- 
mon Judge, we appeal to the nations of Christendom, and ear- 
nestly and respectfully ask of them, that they will regard us with 
the sympathy and friendly consideration, to which the peculiari- 
ties of our condition entitle us, and to extend to ua that comity 
which marks the friendly intercourse of civilized and independent 
communities. 

DONE in CONVENTION, at Monrovia, in the County of 
Montserrado, by the unanimous consent of the people of 
the Commonwealth of Liberia, this Twenty-sixth day of 
July, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight hun- 
dred and Forty-seven. In witness whereof we have hereto 
set our names. 

MONTSEBBADO COUNTY, 

S. Benedict, President 
H. Teage, 
Elijah Johnson, 
J. N. Lewis, 
Beverly B. Wilson, 
J. B. Gbipon. 

GBAND BASS COUNTY, 

John Day, 
Amos Hebbino, 
A. W. Gardner, 
Ephhbaim Titler. 

COUNTY OP SINOB, 

B. E. MmutAY. 

JAOOB W. PROUT, 

Secretary of the Cawventian, 

CONSTITUTION OP THE REPUBLIC OF 

LIBERIA 

PBEAMBLE 

The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration 
of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, 
to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it, 
with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility, their 



262 UBisu. 

natural riglitfly and tlM blesamgs of life; and wbenerer these 
great objects are not (Stained, the people have a right to alter 
the goTemment and to take measures necessarj for their saf etj, 
prosperity, and happiness. 

Therefore, we the People of the Commonwealth of Liberia, 
in Africa, acknowledging wii^ devout gratitude, the goodness 
of God, in granting to us the blessings of the Christian Religion, 
and political, religious and civil lil^rtj, do, in order to secure 
these blessings for ourselves and our posterity, and to estab- 
lish justice, insure domestic peace, and promote tlie general 
welfare, hereby solemnly associate, and constitute ourselves a 
Free, Sovereign and Independent State by the name of the 
BEPUBUC of LIBEBIA, and do ordain and ertablish this 
Constitution for the government of the same. 

ARTICLE I 

BILL OF BIGHTS 

Section 1. All men are bom equally free and independent, 
and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights: 
among which are the rights of enjoying and defending life and 
liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protectin^^ property, and 
of pursuing and ob&ining safety and happiness. 

Section 2. All power is inherent in the people; all free 
governments are instituted by their authority, and for their 
benefit, and they have the right to alter and reform the same 
when their safety and happiness require it. 

Section 3. All men have a natural and inalienable right 
to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, 
without obstruction or molestation from others: all persons 
demeaning themselves peaceably, and not obstructing others in 
their religious worship, are entitled to the protection of law, 
in the free exercise of their own religion, and no sect of 
Christians shall have exclusive privileges or preference over any 
other sect; but all shall be alike tolerated; and no religious 
test whatever shall be required as a qualification for civil office, 
or the exercise of any civil right. 

Section 4. There shall be no slavery within this Bepublic. 
Nor shall any citizen of this Bepublic, or any person resident 
therein, deal in slaves, either within or without this Bepublic, 
directly or indirectly. 

Section 5. The people have a rieht at all times, in an 
orderly and peaceable manner to assenu)le and consult upon the 
common good, to instruct their representatives, and to peti- 



APPENDICES. 263 

tion the goyernment, or any public functionaries for the redress 
of grievances. 

Section 6. Every person injured shall have remedy there- 
for, by due course of law; justice shall be done without denial 
or delay; and in all cases, not arising under martial law or upon 
impeachment, the parties shall have a right to a trial by jury, 
and to be heard in person or by counsel, or both. 

Section 7. No persons shall be held to answer for a capital 
or infamous crime, except in cases of impeachment, cases aris- 
ing in the army or navy, and petty offences, unless upon pre- 
sentment by a grand jury; and every person criminally charged 
shall have a right to be seasonably furnished with a copy of the 
charge, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, — ^to 
have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; 
and to have a speedy, public, and impartial trial by a jury 
of the vicinity. He shall not be compelled to furnish or give 
evidence against himself; and no person shall for the same 
offence be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. 

Section 8. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, 
property, or privilege, but by judgment of his peers or the law 
of the kind. 

Section 9. No place shall be searched, nor person seized 
on a criminal charge or suspicion, unless upon warrant lawfully 
issued, upon probable cause supported by oath, or solemn affir- 
mation, specially designating the place or person, and the object 
of the search. 

Section 10. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor ex- 
cessive fines imposed, nor excessive punishments inflicted. Nor 
shall the Legislature make any law impairing the obligation of 
contracts nor any law rendering any acts punishable when it 
was committed. 

Section 11. All elections shall be by ballot; and every 
male citizen of twenty-one years of age, possessing real estate, 
shall have the right of suffrage. 

Section 12. The people have a right to keep and bear arms 
for the common defence and as in time of peace, armies are 
dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without 
the consent of the Legislature; and the military power shall 
always be held in exact subordination to the civil authority and 
be governed by it. 

Section 13. Private property shall not be taken for public 
use without just compensation. 



264 lilBEBU. 

Section 14. The powers of this govemment shall be divided 
into three distinct departments : Legislative, Executive and 
Judicial, and no person belonging to one of these departments 
shall exercise anj of the powers belonging to either of the 
other. This section is not to be construed to include Justices 
of the Peace. 

Section 15. The liberty of the press is essential to the 
security of freedom in a state; it ought not, therefore to be 
restrained in this Bepublic 

The printing press shall be free to every person who under- 
takes to examine the proceedings of the Legislature, or any 
branch of govemment; and no law shall ever be made to 
restrain the rights thereof. The free communication of thoughts 
and opinions, is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every 
citizen may freely speak, write and print, on any subject, being 
responsible for the abuse of that liberty. 

In prosecutions, for the publication of papers, investigating 
the official conduct of officers, or men in a public capacity, or 
where the matter published is proper for public information, 
the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indict- 
ments for libels the jury shall have the right to determine the 
law and the facts, under the directions of the courts; as in 
other cases. 

Section 16. No subsidy, charge, impost, or duties ought 
to be established, .fixed, laid or levied, under any pretext w^t- 
soever, without the consent of the people, or their representatives 
in the Legislature. 

Section 17. Suits may be brought against the Bepublic 
in such manner, and in such cases as the Legislature may by 
law direct. 

Section 18. No person can, in any case, be subject to the 
law martial, or to any penalties or pains by virtue of that law, 
(except those employed in the army or navy, and except the 
militia in actual service) but by the authority of the Legislature. 

Section 19. In order to prevent those who are vested with 
authority, from becoming oppressors, the people have a right 
at such periods, and in such manner, as they shall establish by 
their frame of govemment, to cause their public officers to 
return to private life, and to fill up vacant places, by certain 
and regular elections and appointments. 

Section 20. That all prisoners shall be bailable by suf- 
ficient sureties; unless, for capital offences, when the proof is 



APPENDICES. 265 

evidenty or presumption g^eat; and the privilege and benefit 
of the writ of habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this Bepublie, 
in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner, 
and shall not be suspended by the Legislature, except upon the 
most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time, not 
exceeding twelve months. 

ABTICLE n 

LEGISLATIVE POWEfiS 

Section 1. That the legislative power shaU be vested in 
a Legislature of Liberia, and shall consist of two separate 
bran(£es — a House of Bepresentatives and a Senate, to be styled 
the Legislature of Liberia; each of which E^all have a negative 
on the other, and the enacting style of their acts and laws shall 
be, "It is enacted by the Senate and House of Bepresentatives 
of the Bepublic of Liberia in Legislature assembled." 

Section 2. The representatives shall be elected by and for 
the inhabitants of the several counties of Liberia, and shall be 
apportioned among the several counties of Liberia, as follows: 
The county of Montserrado shall have four representatives, the 
county of Grand Bassa shall have three, and the county of Sinoe 
i^all have one; and all counties hereafter which shall be admitted 
into the Bepublic shall have one representative, and for every 
ten thousand inhabitants one representative shall be added. 
No person shall be a representative who has not resided in the 
county two whole years immediately previous to his election 
and who shall not, when elected be an inhabitant of the county, 
and does not own real estate of not less value than one hundred 
and fifty dollars in the county in which he resides, and who 
shall not have attained the age of twenty-three years. The 
representatives shall be elected biennially, and shall serve two 
years from the time of their election. 

Section 3. When a vacancy occurs in the representation 
of any county by death, resignation, or otherwise, it shall be 
filled by a new election. 

Section 4. The House of Bepresentatives shall elect their 
own Speaker and other officers; they shall also have the sole 
power of impeachment. 

Section 5. The Senate shall consist of two members from 
Montserrado County, two from Grand Bassa County, two from 
Sinoe County, and two from each county which may be hereafter 
incorporated into this Bepublic. No person shall be a senator 
who ahsJl not have resided three whole years immediately previ- 
ous to his election in the Bepublic of Liberia, and who shall 



266 LIBERIA. 

not, when elected, be an inhabitant of the countj which he 
represents, and who does not own real estate of not less value 
than two hundred dollars in the county which he represents, 
and who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years. 
The senator for each county who shidl £ive the highest number 
of votes shall retain his seat four years, and the one who shall 
have the next highest number of votes, two years; and all who 
are afterwards elected to fill their seats, isdiall remian in office 
four years. 

Section 6. The Senate shall try all impeachments ; the sen- 
ators being first sworn or solemnly affirmed to try the same 
impartially and according to law; and no person shall be con- 
victed but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators 
presfflit. Juc^gfment, in such cases, shall not extend beyond re- 
moval from the office and disqualification to hold an office in the 
Bepublic; but the party may be tried at law for the same of- 
fense. When either the President or Vice-President is to be 
tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. 

Sbction 7. It shall be the duty of the Legislature as soon 
as conveniently may be, after the adoption of this Constitution, 
and once at least in every ten years afterwards, to cause a true 
census to be taken of each town and county of the BepuMic 
of Liberia; and a representative shall be allowed every town 
having a population of ten thousand inhabitants ; and for every 
additional ten thousand in the counties after. the first census 
one representative shall be added to that county, until the num- 
ber of representatives shall amount to thirty; and afterwards, 
one representative shall be added for every thirty thousand. 

SsonoN 8. Each branch of the Legislature shall be judge 
of the election returns and qualification of its own members. 
A majority of each shall be necessary to transact business, but 
a less number may adjourn from day to day and compel the 
attendance of absent members. Each House may adopt its 
own rules of proceedings, enforce order, and, with the concur- 
rence of two-tnirds, may expel a member. 

Section 9. Neither House shall adjourn for more than two 
days without the consent of the other; and both Houses shall 
always sit in the same town. 

Section 10. Every bill or resolution which shall have passed 
both branches of the Legislature, shall, before it becomes a law, 
be laid before the President for his approval; if he approves, 
he shall sign it^ if not, he shall return it to the Legislature with 
his objections. If the Legislature shall afterwards pass the 
bill or resolution by a vote of two-thirds in each branch it shall 
become a law. If the President shall neglect to return sock 



APPESNDIOES. 267 

bill or resolution to the Legislature with his objections for ^ve 
days after the same shall haye been so laid before him, the 
Legislature remaining in session during that time/ such neglect 
shall be equivalent to his signature. 

Section 11. The Senators and BepresentatiVes shall receive 
from the Bepublic a compensation for their services to be ascer- 
tained by law; and shall be privileged from arrest, except for 
treason, felony, or breach of the peace, while attending at, going 
to, or returning from, the session of the Legislature. 

AETICLB ni 

XXECUnVE FOWIB 

Section 1. The supreme executive power shall be vested in 
a President, who shall be elected by the people, and shall hold 
his office for the term of two years. He shall be commander- 
in-chief of the army and navy. He shall in the recess of the 
Legislature have power to call out the militia, or any portion 
thereof, into actual service in defence of the Bepublic. He 
shall have power to make treaties, provided the Senate concur 
therein by a vote of two-thirds of the senators present. He 
shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
appoint and commission all ambassadors and other public min- 
isters and consuls, secretaries of State, of War, of the Navy, and 
of the Treasury, Attorney General, all judges of courts, sheriffs, 
coroners, re^sters, marshals, justices of the peace, clerks of 
courts, notaries public, and all other officers of State, — civil and 
military, whose appointment may not be otherwise provided for 
by the Constitution, or by standing laws. And in the recess of 
the Senate, he may ffll any vacancies in those offices, until the 
next session of the Senate. He shall receive all ambassadors and 
other public ministers. He shall take care that the laws are 
faithfully executed: — ^he shall inform the Legislature, from time 
to time, of the condition of the Bepublic, and recommend any 
public measures for their adoption which he may think expedient. 
He may, after conviction, remit any public forfeitures and 
penalties, and grant reprieves and pardons for public offences 
except in cases of impeachment. He may require information 
and advice from any public officer touching matters pertaining 
to his office. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the 
Legislature, and may adjourn the two Houses whenever they 
cannot agree as to the time of adjournment. 

Section 2. There shall be a Vice-President who shall be 
elected in the same manner and for the same term as that of the 
President, and whose qualifications shall be the same; he shall 
b^ President of the Senate, and give the casting vote when the 
house is equally divided on any subject. And in the case of 



268 LIBEBU. 

the removal of the President from office, or his death, resigna- 
tion, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said 
office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President; and the 
Legislature may by law provide for Uie cases of removal, deatii, 
resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice- 
President, declaring wh&t officer shall then act as President, 
and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be 
removed, or a President shall be elected. 

Section 3. The Secretary of State shall keep the records 
of the State, and all the records and papers of the Legislative 
body, and all other public records and documents not belonging 
to any other department, and shall lay the same when required, 
before the President or Legislature. He shall attend upon them 
when required, and perform such other duties as may be 
enjoined by law. 

Section 4. The Secretary of the Treasury, or other per- 
sons who may by law be charged with custody of public monies, 
shall, before he receive such monies, give bonds to the State, 
with sufficient sureties, to the acceptance of the Legislature, for 
the faithful discharge of his trust. He shall* e^bit n true 
account of such monies when required by the President, or 
Legislature, and no monies shall be drawn from the Treamiry, 
but by warrant from the President in consequence of appropri- 
ation made by law. 

Section 5. All ambassadors and other public ministers and 
consuls, the Secretary of State, of War, of the Treasury, and 
of the Navy, the Attorney General and Post Master General, 
shall hold their office during the pleasure of the President. All 
justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, marshals, clerks of 
courts, registers, and notaries public, shall hold their offices for 
the term of two years from the date of their res^tive conmiis- 
sions; but they may be removed from office within that time by 
the President at his pleasure; and all other officers whose term 
of office shall not be otherwise limited by law, shall hold their 
offices during the pleasure of the President. 

Section 6. Every civil officer may be removed from office 
by impeachment for official misconduct. Every such officer may 
also be removed by the President upon the address of both 
branches of the Legislature, stating their particular reason for 
his removal. No person shall be eligible to tiie office of President 
who has not been a citizen of this Bepublic for at least five 
years, and who shall not have attained the age of Thirty-five 
years, and who is not possessed of unencumbered real esta^ of 
the value of Six hundred dollars. 

Section 7. The President shall at stated times receive for 
his services compensation which shall neither be increased nor 



APPENDICES. 269 

diminished during the period for which he shall have been 
elected; and before he enters on the execution of his office, he 
shall take the following oath or affirmation: — 

I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute 
the office of President of the Bepublio of Liberia, and wUl, to 
the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Con- 
stitution, and enforce the laws of the BepuJ)lic of Liberia, 

ABTICLE IV 

JT7DI0IAL DEPARTMENT 

Section 1. The judicial power of this Bepublic shall be 
vested in one Supreme Court, and such subordinate courts as the 
Legifldature may from time to time establish. The judges of the 
Supreme Court, and all other judges of courts, shall hold their 
office during good behaviour ; but may be removed by the Presi- 
dent, on the address of two-thirds of both houses for that pur- 
pose, or by impeachment, and conviction thereon. The judges 
shall have salaries established by law, which may be increased, 
but not diminished during their continuance in office. They 
shall not receive other perquisites, or emoluments whatever from 
parties, or others, on account of any duty required of them. 

Section 2. The Supreme Court shall have original juris- 
diction in all cases affecting ambassadors, or other public min- 
isters and consuls, and those to which a country shall be a party. 
In all other cases the Supreme Court shall have appellate juris- 
diction, both as to law and facts, with such exceptions and 
under such regulations as the Legislature shall from time to 
time make. 

ABTICLE V 

miscellaneous provisions 

All laws now in force in the Commonwealth of Liberia and 
not repugnant to the Constitution shall be in force as the laws 
of the Itopublie of Liberia until they shall be repealed by the 
Legislature. 

Section 2. All judges, magistrates, and other officers now 
concerned in the administration of justice in the Commonwealth 
of Liberia, and all other existing civil and military officers 
therein, shall continue to hold and discharge the duties of their 
resx)ective offices in the name and by the authority of the Be- 
public until others shall be appointed and commissioned in their 
stead, pursuant to the Constitution. 



270 LIBERU. 

Section 3. All towns and municipal corporations within 
the Bepublic, constituted under the laws of the Commonwealth 
of Liberia, cdiall retain their existing organizations and privi- 
leges, and the resx)ectiye officers thereof shall remain in office 
and act under the authority of this Bepublic in the same man- 
ner and with like power as they now possess under the laws of 
said Commonwealth. 

Section 4. The first election of President, Vice-President, 
Senators and Bepresentatives, shall be held on the first Tuesday 
in October, in the year of Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and 
Forty-seven, in the same manner as the election of members of 
the Council are held in the Commonwealth of Liberia ; and the 
votes shall be certified and returned to the Colonial Secretary, 
and the result of the election shall be ascertained, posted, and 
notified by him, as is now by law provided, in ease gi such 
members of Council. 

Section 5. All other elections of Presidents, Vice-Presi- 
dent, Senators and Bepresentatives, shall be held in tiie respec- 
tive towns on the first Tuesday in May in every two years; to 
be held and regulated in such a manner as the Legislature may 
by law prescribe. The returns of votes shall be made to the 
Secretary of State, who shall open the same and forthwith issue 
notices of the election to the persons apparently so elected 
Senators and Bepresentatives; and all such returns shall be by 
him laid before the Legislature at its next ensuing session, to- 
gether with a list of the names of the persons who appear l^ 
such returns to have been duly elected S^iators and Bepresenta- 
tives; and the persons appearing by said returns to be duly 
elected shall proceed to organize themselves accordingly, as the 
Senate and House of Bepresentatives. The votes for President 
shall be sorted, counted and declared by the House of Bepre- 
sentatives; and if no person shall appear to have a majority of 
such votes, the Senators and Bepresentatives present, shaU, in 
convention, by joint ballot, elect from among the persons having 
the three highest number of votes, a person to act as President 
for the ensuing term. 

Section 6. The Legislature shall assemble once at least in 
every year, and such meetings shall be on the first Monday in 
January, unless a different S&j shall be appointed by law. 

Section 7. Every legislator and other officer appointed 
under this Constitution shall, before he enters upon the duties 
of his office, take and subscribe a solemn oath, or affirmation, 
to support the Constitution of this Bepublic, and faithfully and 
impartially discharge the duties of such office. The presiding 
officer of the Senate shall administer such oath or affirmation, 
to the President in Convention of both Houses; and the Presi- 



APPENDICES. 271 

dent shall administer the same to the Vice-President, to the 
Senators, and to the Bepresentatives in like manner. When the 
President is unable to attend, the Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court may administer the oath, or affirmation to him at any 
place, and also to the Vice-President, Senators, and Bepresenta- 
tives, in convention. Other officers may take such oath, or 
affirmation before the President, Chief Justice, or any other 
person who may be designated by law. 

Section 8. All elections of public officers shall be made 
by a majority of the votes, except in cases otherwise regulated 
by the Constitution, or by law. 

Section 9. Officers created by this Constitution, which the 
present circumstances of the Bepublic do not require that they 
shall be filled, shall not be filled until the Legislature shall deem 
it necessary. 

Section 10. The property of which a woman may be pos- 
sessed at the time of her marriage, and also that of which she 
may afterwards become possessed, otherwise than by her hus- 
band, shall not be held responsible for his debts, whether 
contracted before, or after marriage. 

Nor shall the property thus intended to be secured to the 
woman be alienated otherwise than by her free and voluntary 
consent, and such alienation may be made by her either by sale, 
devise, or otherwise. 

Section 11. In all cases in which estates are insolvent, the 
widow shall be entitled to one third of the real estate during 
her natural life, and to one third of the personal estate, which 
she shall hold in her own right, subject to alienation by her, 
by sale, devise, or otherwise. 

Section 12. No person shall be entitled to hold real estate 
in this Bepublic unless he be a citizen of the same. Nevertheless 
this article shall not be construed to apply to colonization, mis- 
sionary, educational, or other benevolent institutions, so long as 
the property, or estate is applied to its legitimate purpose. 

Section 13. The great object of forming these colonies be- 
ing to provide a home for the dispersed and oppressed children 
of Africa, and to regenerate and enlighten this benighted con- 
tinent, none but persons of color shall be admitted to citizenship 
in this Bepublic. 

Section 14. The purchase of any land by any citizen, or 
citizens from the aborigines of this country for his or their own 
use, or for the benefit of others, as estate or estates, in fee 



272 LIBERIA. 

simple, shall be considered null and void to all intents and 
purposes. 

Section 15. The improTonent of the native tribes and their 
advancement in the art of agriculture and husbandry being a 
cherished object of this government, it shall be the duty of 
the President to appoint in each county some discreet person 
whose duty it shaU be to make regular and periodical tours 
through the country for the purpose of calling the attention of 
the natives to those wholesome branches of industry, and of 
instructing them in the same, and the Legislature shall, as soon 
as it can conveniently be done, make provisions for these 
purposes by the appropriation of money. 

Section 16. The existing regulations of the American 
Colonization Society, in the Conmionwealth, relative to immi- 
grants, shall remain the same in the Bepublic until regulated by 
compact between the Society and the Bepublic; nevertheless, the 
Legislature shall make no law prohibiting emigration. And it 
shfdl be among the first duties of the Legislature, to take meas- 
ures to arrange the future relations between the American 
Colonization Society and this Eepublic. 

Section 17. This Constitution may be altered whenever 
two thirds of both branches of the Legislature, shall deem it 
necessary; in which case the alterations or amendments, shall 
first be considered and approved by the Legislature by the con- 
currence of two thirds of the members of each branch and 
afterwards by them submitted to the people, and adopted by 
two thirds of all the electors at the next biennial meeting for 
the election of Senators, and Bepresentatives. 

DONE in CONVENTION, at Monrovia in the County 
of Montserrado, by the unanimous consent of the people 
of the Commonwealth of Liberia, this Twenty-sixth 6&j 
of July, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight 
Hundred and Forty-seven, and of the REPUBLIC the 
first. In witness whereof we have hereto set our names. 
(As before.) 

AN ACT AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE 

BEPUBLIC OF LIBEBIA 

1907 

An Act proposing Sundry Amendments to the Constitution 
of Liberia. 

It is enacted hy the Senate and House of Bepresentatives of 
the Bepublic of Liberia in Legislature assembled: — 



APPENDICES. 273 

Section 1. That the following Amendments shall become 
part of the National Constitution and be submitted to the people 
at the ensuing biennial election to be held on the first Tuesday 
in May, A. D. 1907, throughout the several counties of the Re- 
public for their consideration and approval, or non-approval, 
and the ballot shall be written ' ' adoption, or no adoption. ' ' 

Section 2. That Article 3rd, Section 1st be made to read, 
"The supreme executive power shall be vested in a President, 
who shall be elected by the people and shall hold his office for 
the term of four years and be elected quadrennially. ' ' 

Section 3. That Article 2nd, Section 2nd, after the words 
"Twenty-three years" be made to read. The Representatives 
shall be elected quadrennially and shall serve for four years 
from the time of their election. 

Section 4. That Article 2nd, Section 5th, after the words, 
"Twenty-five" be made to read "The Senators shall serve for 
six years and shall be elected quadrennially, and those elected 
May, A. D. 1905, shall retain their seat for six years, from the 
time of their election, and all who are afterwards elected, six 
years. 

Section 5. That when a vacancy occurs in the office of 
Vice-President by death, resignation or otherwise, after the 
regular election of the President and Vice-President, the Presi- 
dent shall immediately order a special election to fill said 
vacancy. 

Section 6. That Article 5th, Section 13th be made to read 
"None but Negroes or persons of Negro descent, shall be 
eligible to citizenship in this Republic." 

Section 7. That Section 3rd, of Article 4th, be made to 
read, ' ' The judges of the Supreme Court shall be the Chief and 
two Associate Justices." 

Any law to the contrary notwithstanding. 



SUGGESTIONS 

Made by the Liberian Government to the American 

Commission in 1909 

1. That the Government of the United States be requested 
to guarantee as far as practicable the independence and integ- 
rity of Liberia, either alone or in conjunction with certain 
European powers. 
18. 



274 LIBERIA. 

2. To advise and counsel the Government of Liberia on 
international affairs and with respect to reforms. 

3. The Government of the United States be requested to 
liquidate the foreign and local indebtedness of the Eepublic, 
taking over the control of its financial and customs administra- 
tions for a period of years sufficient to effect a reorganization 
and systematization of same under American experts and allow- 
ing to the Eepublic an annual sum to be hereinafter agreed upon 
for the payment of the expenses of the Government and for 
internal improvements until the amount advanced by the United 
States for the liquidation of the indebtedness of the Bepublic 
be paid. 

4. That the United States Government be requested to fur- 
nish the Eepublic with experts for service in such departments 
of government as may be deemed necessary — at the expense of 
the latter — in order to facilitate and carry out the necessary 
reforms. 

5. That the Government of the United States be requested 
to use its good offices in inducing American capitalists— either 
in conjunction with foreign capitalists or alone — to establish a 
bank in Liberia which shall receive the revenues of the Eepublic 
and make advances to the Government upon terms to be agreed 
upon, and also to construct and run railways and other improve- 
ments. 

6. That the Government of the United States be requested 
to enter into an arbitration treaty with Liberia, and to use its 
good and kind offices with the European powers interested in 
West Africa to enter into similar engagements with the Eepublic. 

7. That the American Government be requested to use their 
good offices to secure the equitable execution of the boundary 
arrangements entered into between the Government of Liberia 
and the Government of Great Britain and France, especially to 
assist the Government of Liberia diplomatically to secure pos- 
session of the Kanre Lahun section and other sections in the 
north of Liberia, now occupied by Great Britain, which by the 
Anglo-Liber ian boundary commission were acknowledged to this 
Eepublic, as well as the securing to Liberia the hinterland recog- 
nized as Liberian by the conventions concluded between her and 
France, but which has been materially altered to the detriment of 
Liberia by the delimitation commission of 1908-9. 

8. That the Government of the United States be requested 
to undertake a scientific research of the country with the view 
of ascertaining a more accurate knowledge of its mineral, vege- 
table, and other resources, and to interest American capitalists 
in the development of the same ; and also to aid the Government 
of Liberia in the establishment of a school for scientific medical 
research with particular reference to the study of tropical 
diseases. 

9. To aid the Government of Liberia in establishing indus- 
trial schools in one or more of the counties of the Eepublic with 



APPENDICES. 275 

a view of promoting a knowledge of such trades and industries 
as will render the Eepublic self-reliant. 

10. To aid in establishing civilized centers on the frontiers 
and hinterland in order to accelerate the uplifting and improve- 
ment of the natives and perpeputate the object of the Ameri- 
can founders of Liberia. 

11. To supervise the organization of a police and frontier 
force under American officers. 

12. To request the United States war ships to visit Liberia 
annually, or oftener. 

13. It is the anxious desire of Liberia that closer business 
relations and a substantial sail or steam service be established 
between the mother country and ours, and to this end we ear- 
nestly ask that the United States will encourage and foster a 
regular line of steamers (by an American company) to carry 
mails and passengers to and from Liberia as well as African 
produce to the American markets. 

14. The Government of Liberia here express its willingness 
to concede to the Government of the United States any rights 
and privileges for the construction of coaling stations or any 
other enterprises which she may deem necessary to enter upon 
that would be beneficial to the people and Government of the 
United States, the same not being inconsistent with existing 
treaty stipulations with other foreign powers. 

LIBERIAN OFFICIALS 

AGENTS AND GOVERNORS 

Eli Ayres ♦ 1822 

Frederick James 1822 

Elijah Johnson 1822 

Jehudi Ashman * 1822 

Lott Carey 1828 

Eichard Eandall * 1828 

William Mechlin * 1829 

John B. Pinney * 1834 

Ezekiel Skinner * 1835 

A. D. Williams 1836 

Thomas Buchanan * 1839 

Joseph J. Eoberts 1841 

GOVERNORS OP MARYLAND 

James Hall * 1834 

J. B. Eusswurm 1836 

S. F. McGill 1851 

William A. Prout 1854 

B. J. Drayton 1856 

* Indicates white men. 



276 



LIBERIA. 



PRESIDENTS AND VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC 



Joseph J. Boberts, Monrovia 1848 



Stephen A. Benson, Buchanan 1856 

Daniel B. Warner, Monrovia 1864 

James S. Payne, Monrovia 1868 

Edward J. Boye, Monrovia 1870 

Joseph J. Boberts, Monrovia 1872 

James S. Payne, Monrovia 1876 

Anthony W. Gardner Monrovia. . .1878 

(Alfred F. Bussell) 1883 

Hilary Bichard Wright^ Johnson, 

Monrovia .'. 1884 

Joseph J. Cheeseman, Edina 1892 

William D. Coleman, Qay- Ashland . 1896* 
Garretson W. Gibson, Monrovia . . . 1902 
Arthur Barclay, Monrovia 1904 

1908 

Daniel E. Howard, Monrovia 1912 



Nathaniel Brandos 
A. D. Williams 
St^hen A. Benson 
Benjamin Y. Yates 
Daniel B. Warner 
James Priest 
Joseph Gibson 
James S. Smith 
Anthony W. Gardner 
Charles Harmon 

Alfred P. Bussell 

James Thompson 
William D. Coleman 
Joseph J. Boss 
Joseph Summerville 
Joseph Summerville 
James J. Dossen 
Samuel G. Harmon 



SECRETARIES OF STATE 



Hiliary Teague 
J. N. Lewis 

D. B. Warner 

E. W. Blyden 

J. W. Blackledge 



H. B. W. Johnson 
J. E. Moore 
W. M. Davis 
Ernest Barclay 
G. W. Gibson 



A. Barclay 
W. V. Gibson 
(pro tern) 
H. W. Travis 



APPENDICES. 277 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 

All hail, Liberia, hail I 
This glorious land of liberty 
Shall long be ours. 
Tho' new her name, 
Green be her fame, 
And mightj be her powers. 

In joy and gladness, with our hearts united, 
We 11 shout the freedom of a race benighted. 
Long live Liberia, happy land. 
A home of glorious liberty by God 's command. 

All hail I Liberia, hail I 

In union strong, success is sure. 

We cannot fail. 

With God above. 

Our rights to prove, 

We wiU the world assail. 

With heart and hand our country 's cause defending 
We meet the foe, with valor unpretending. 
Long live Liberia, happy land, 
A home of glorious liberty by God's command. 






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